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SBU Center for Study of Working Class Life Releases Study on U.S. Military Casualties in Afghanistan

STONY BROOK, NY, October 7, 2011 - Today, the tenth anniversary of the start of the current war in Afghanistan, the Center for Study of Working Class Life at the State University of New York at Stony Brook released its report "American Military Deaths in Afghanistan, and the Communities from Which These Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines Came," by Michael Zweig, Michael Porter and Yuxiang Huang.   

The study presents a detailed picture of the men and women who have died in the war, and the communities which have lost them.  It compares these findings with people and communities in the country as a whole.  The report is based on a reading of obituaries and tribute pages for each of the 1,446 U.S. military personnel who died in Afghanistan from the start of the war in October 2001 to the end of 2010, and analysis of Census and other data for the communities from which they came. The report addresses the racial and gender composition of the dead, their education levels and reasons for joining the military, and their position in the class structure of the economy.  The report also details the geographic origins of the dead and presents key economic data for their communities.   

The findings challenge a number of widely held assumptions about the identity and motivation of Americans who have died in Afghanistan and the economic conditions in their home communities.  Whatever one's views on the war, it is important to know who is dying from doing the work of it. See the full report and data appendixes here.