100 American Women Dead in Iraq
The death July 17 of Tech Sergeant Jackie Larson, of natural causes, brought to one hundred the number of American female military personnel who have died in the Iraq War, CNN reports.
The death of an Air Force technical sergeant in Iraq last week quietly brought a somber milestone: One hundred American female service members have died in Iraq, according to a CNN count of Pentagon figures.
The latest death was Tech. Sgt. Jackie L. Larsen, 37, of Tacoma, Washington, who died of natural causes July 17 at Balad Air Base, Iraq. She was assigned to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California, according to the Pentagon.
The death comes during what may be the lowest monthly toll in the war. Pentagon records show that at least nine U.S. troops have died in July. The lowest number in the war was in May, with 19. The total of U.S. service member deaths in the Iraq war now stands at 4,124.
Of the 100 female service members who died:
- 97 were troops, and three were military civilian employees.
- 61 of them have been classified as hostile — occurring during combat or enemy attacks — and 39 have been non-hostile.
- 12 died in 2003, 19 in 2004, 20 in 2005, 15 in 2006, 27 in 2007 and seven this year.
- 80 of those were members of the Army, nine were Navy, seven were Marines, and four were Air Force.
To put the number in context, that’s 100 women out of 4082 Americans dead in Iraq, or slightly under 2.5 percent of the total. Thus, men account for 97.5 percent of the deaths. And more than a third (39 percent, to be precise) of the women who have died did so from causes other than hostile action.
What’s truly remarkable, though, is that these numbers are spectacularly higher on a percentage basis than in previous conflicts:
- World War I: At least 359 servicewomen died, mostly from influenza and vehicle and aircraft accidents.
- World War II: 543 died, mostly from vehicle and aircraft accidents. Sixteen Army nurses died from enemy fire.
- Korean War: 17 died, mostly from vehicle or aircraft accidents.
- Vietnam War: 8 died, one from hostile fire, one suicide, and the rest from vehicle and aircraft accidents.
- Gulf War (Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm): 16 died, mostly from vehicle and aircraft accidents and hostile fire.
Sixty one women killed from enemy action almost certainly exceeds that of all our previous wars combined, despite the relatively low number of American KIAs in this conflict.