…[T]he tremendous human costs of that war would have been much greater, were it not for breakthroughs in combat medicine deployed for the first time on a broad scale in Iraq.
4,486 American men and women were killed in the Iraq war. This represents approximately 14 percent of the 32,221 wounded in action — versus the 19 percent killed in Vietnam, or 27 percent killed in World War II…
The jump in the survival rate of servicemen and women wounded in Iraq partially explains two other phenomena initiated with the war in Iraq and accelerated by the war in Afghanistan: the seemingly outsized number of veterans suffering from obvious physical disability — and the seemingly unprecedented profusion of psychiatric illness, mostly in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder, among wounded veterans.
Both phenomena are, paradoxically, the result of good medical news — of our military’s long, steady improvements in combat medicine.
From J.D. Kleinke.