Later this year, the United States will mark the 10th anniversary of its military involvement in Afghanistan. March 20 will mark the eighth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. The Department of Defense reports that, as of February 7, 5,775 members of the U.S. armed forces have been killed in these theaters of war.
American Jews make up only a fraction of those casualties — by a reliable count, 37 men and women who lost their lives in combat. Experts say the number of Jews may be higher, as some soldiers don’t declare their religion, especially when serving in Muslim countries. Among the Jewish dead are the first female airman to die in Iraq and the only member of the U.S. Coast Guard killed in action since the Vietnam War.
All volunteered to fight in two wars whose cost in lives and treasure have largely been ignored by the Jewish community, and in the nation as a whole. That is why the Forward is telling their stories. The latest death occurred less than a year ago, reminding us that this tragic story is continuing to unfold. — Jane Eisner
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