POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 14, 2011:
Oklahomaís military fatalities higher than many other states
Sixty-six troops were killed in Afghanistan this August, making it the deadliest month for American military forces, according to the Associated Press.
Of those, six were from Oklahoma, each one a part of the Oklahoma National Guard. Additionally, two Oklahoma troops died on July 29.
Three more Oklahoma soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on Sept. 9: Sgt. Bret D. Isenhower, 26, of Lamar; Spc. Christopher D. Horton, 26, of Collinsville; and Pfc. Tony J. Potter, 20, of Okmulgee.
As of Sept. 6, the Associated Press reported at least 1,645 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan since 2001.
In operations Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan only), Iraqi Freedom (Iraq only) and New Dawn (other Middle Eastern countries combined), 109 Oklahomans have died since 2003, the Department of Defense's Statistical Information Analysis Division shows.
The numbers do not include the three soldiers who died on Sept. 9, though we've included them in our analysis.
The 109 deaths break down like this: 29 occurred during hostile combat in Afghanistan; six were non-hostile deaths in Afghanistan; 56 occurred during hostile combat in Iraq; 17 were non-hostile deaths in Iraq; and one death occurred in hostile combat in another Middle Eastern country.
Oklahoma's neighbor states have had fewer per capita deaths. In all three combat operations, Arkansas has had 80 military deaths out of 2.9 million people, according to 2010 Census Bureau figures.
Kansas has had 66 deaths for its population of 2.8 million. Missouri's death toll stands at 135 with a population of nearly 6 million, while Colorado's toll is 91 military deaths for a population of about 5 million.
The per capita military fatality rate is figured as one death per 100,000 people. Oklahoma's seen about 2.90 deaths per 100,000, the highest value of all its neighbor states.
Arkansas' casualty rate is the second-highest in this region, with about 2.74 deaths per 100,000. Kansas' figure is somewhat smaller, with about 2.31 deaths.
Missouri and Colorado have fewer military deaths per capita than Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas.
Missouri's number is 2.25 deaths per 100,000, while Colorado has the lowest numbers of military fatalities, with 1.81 deaths per capita.
California currently has the highest number of overall fatalities, with 643 deaths reported in all three major operations as of Sept. 6. The per capita rate is 1.73 per 100,000, still significantly lower than Oklahoma's.
Texas has the second-highest number of overall fatalities, with 552 deaths and a per capita rate of 2.12.
Comparatively, Oklahoma has a higher number of military deaths than many other states. Most states' fatalities hover around the 2 deaths per capita mark. For example, Mississippi's rate is about 2.5, Alabama stands at 2.05, Arizona has a per capita rate of 2.14, Georgia's is 2.01, and North Carolina's is 1.70.
August was a banner month for troops in Iraq, where no American military personnel died for the first time since the war began. There are approximately 48,000 troops stationed in Iraq now.
As of Sept. 6, the Associated Press reported 4,474 American troops have died in the Iraq War since combat operations began in March 2003.
During the Vietnam War, Oklahoma had the second-highest casualty rate of any state, according to Department of Defense numbers. West Virginia had the highest casualty rate.
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