Monday, August 11, 2008

Realities of War

I was reviewing the Lessons Learned safety letter today and it is very disheartening to know that war is the least of our problems. I have outspoken this to many people, whom dismiss what I say. War doesn't kill as bad as complacency and recreation does. I don't expect anyone to be able to go to this link without a (.mil) computer but the following link is the breakdown by the numbers:

The numbers break down in all sorts of ways and you find out that the Army leads the pack in non-combat related deaths and injuries by a lot.
Here are some numbers that I pulled from the report.

During GWOT and OIF: March 19, 2003 to July 5,2008

Total Non Hostile Deaths
Total : 761
Army: 559
Navy/Coast Guard :32
Marines :152
Air Force: 18

Total—Non–Hostile Related Medical (Air Transports Hostile and Non Hostile)
(Numbers include wounded in action)
Total : 42,395
Army : 34,732
Navy/Coast Guard : 1,274
Marines : 4,803
Air Force : 1,586

I obviously don't have the numbers for all the services for off-duty mishaps but reading this year's "so far" report for us doesn't make feel very warm and fuzzy about the rest. For our critical days of summer where traditionally fatalities rise; the Marine Corps appears to be doing better than last year. Still, a death, regardless of how it happened still hurts the brothers and sisters still here.

For the 15 weeks of summer(about Memorial Day to Labor Day)
Marine Corps (Non-Combat):
Total Fatalities FY08: 15

Navy(Non-Combat) :
Total Fatalities FY08 :18

Over half of the Marine Corps deaths that have occurred this summer are related to motorcycles. Also, the Navy shares half of their deaths to the same factor. So it is not surprising why there are so many safety guidelines and restrictions with the motorcyclists.

Here is an excerpt from the data of these deaths:

2ndLT was traveling east on highway 24 when his motorcycle struck another vehicle at an intersection. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sgt was killed after losing control of his motorcycle, striking a telephone pole and a fence.

GySgt died in a hospital after he and his passenger were thrown from the motorcycle they were riding. After losing control, he left the roadway and crashed down an embankment.

Sgt riding on a motorcycle collided with a guardrail, was ejected from the motorcycle and sustained fatal injuries.

LCpl was found unresponsive after a night of drinking.

LCpl and his passenger were killed in a motorcycle crash with a trailer.

SSgt killed in a motorcycle crash when his motorcycle veered off the road striking a curb, then impacting a tree.

Cpl died of injuries he received when involved in a motorcycle crash after hitting a curb and being thrown to street.

HM- assigned to Camp Pendleton, his wife and 4 year old son were killed when the car they were driving was struck head on by the driver of a pick-up truck that crossed the double yellow lines.

LCpl was passenger in a vehicle involved in a head-on collision.

Sgt was killed when his vehicle left the road and hit a tree.

Pvt departed a social event and was walking in the road when he was struck by a civilian vehicle and killed.

Cpl was found dead on ground below 7th story hotel balcony.

LCpl who was TAD to Recruiting Substation, died after being involved in a motorcycle accident when his motorcycle crashed into a building.

Hopefully, we will learn from this and live another day.