August Is Deadliest Month Ever In Afghan War
This month, 66 U.S. service members were killed in Afghanistan. According to The Associated Press that makes August the deadliest month in the nearly 10-year-old war. The previous record was in July 2010, when 65 service members were killed.
August's number includes the 30 American troops killed on Aug. 6, when insurgents shot down a Chinook helicopter.
Though American military officials predicted high casualties this summer as the Taliban try to come back after recent offensives, the grim milestone increases pressure on the Obama administration to bring troops home sooner rather than later.
The military has begun to implement President Barack Obama's order to withdraw the 33,000 extra troops he dispatched to the war. He ordered 10,000 out this year and another 23,000 withdrawn by the summer of 2012, leaving about 68,000 U.S. troops on the ground. Although major combat units are not expected to start leaving until late fall, two National Guard regiments comprising about 1,000 soldiers started going home last month.
Earlier today, President Obama addressed veterans at the American Legion's 93rd National Convention. The president acknowledged the "extraordinary burden" veterans bear.
"Hundreds of thousands have deployed again and again, year after year," he said. "Never before has our nation asked so much of our all-volunteer force — that 1 percent of Americans who wears the uniform."
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports Obama stressed that "longest war in American history will come to a responsible end."
"For our troops and military families who have sacrificed so much, this means relief from an unrelenting decade of operations," Obama said.
-- Marine Staff Sgt. Leon H. Lucas Jr., 32, of Wilson, N.C.
-- Army Staff Sgt. Kirk Owen, 37, of Sapulpa, Okla.
-- Army Pfc. Gil I. Morales Del Valle, 21, of Jacksonville, Fla.
-- Army Pfc. Cody A. Baker, 19, of Holton, Kan.
-- Army Spc. Barun Rai, 24, of Silver Spring, Md.
-- Army Sgt. Anthony Del Mar Peterson, 24, of Chelsea, Okla.
-- Army Spc. Douglas J. Green, 23, of Sterling, Va.
-- Army Spc. Michael C. Roberts, 23, of Watauga, Texas
-- Army Pfc. Brandon S. Mullins, 21, of Owensboro, Ky.
-- Army Pfc. Jesse W. Dietrich, 20, of Venus, Texas
-- Army Sgt. Andrew R. Tobin, 24, of Jacksonville, Ill.
-- Army 1st Lt. Timothy J. Steele, 25, of Duxbury, Mass.
-- Army Pfc. Douglas L. Cordo, 20, of Kingston, N.Y.
-- Marine Lance Cpl. Travis M. Nelson, 19, of Pace, Fla.
-- Army Spc. Dennis G. Jensen, 21, of Vermillion, S.D.
-- Army Spc. Joshua M. Seals, 21, of Porter, Okla.
-- Army Sgt. Matthew A. Harmon, 29, of Bagley, Minn.
-- Army Spc. Joseph A. VanDreumel, 32, of Grand Rapids, Mich.
--Army 1st Lt. Damon T. Leehan, 30, of Edmond, Okla.
--Army 2nd Lt. Joe L. Cunningham, 27, of Kingston, Okla.
--Army Master Sgt. Charles L. Price III, 40, of Milam, Texas.
--Army Sgt. Edward J. Frank II, 26, of Yonkers, N.Y.
--Army Sgt. Jameel T. Freeman, 26, of Baltimore, Md.
--Army Spc. Patrick L. Lay II, 21, of Fletcher, N.C.
--Army Spc. Jordan M. Morris, 23, of Stillwater, Okla.
--Army Pfc. Rueben J. Lopez, 27, of Williams, Calif.
--Navy Hospitalman Ryley Gallinger-Long, 19, of Cornelius, Ore.
--Marine Cpl. Nicholas S. Ott, 23, of Manchester, N.J.
--Army Sgt. Alessandro L. Plutino, 28, of Pitman, N.J.
--Marine Sgt. Joshua J. Robinson, 29, of Omaha, Neb.
--Marine Sgt. Adan Gonzales Jr., 28, of Bakersfield, Calif.
--Marine Sgt. Daniel J. Patron, 26, of Canton, Ohio
--Navy Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, La.
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, Calif.
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Ark.
--Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers, 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii.
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Conn.
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Mass.
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Mo.
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas.
--Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, W.Va.
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, La.
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, Calif.
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, N.C.
--Navy Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah
--Navy Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Neb.
--Navy Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Fla.
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Willits, Calif.
--Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, of St. Paul, Minn.
--Air Force Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Fla.
--Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, Calif.
--Air Force Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pa.
--Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo.
--Army Staff Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb.
--Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan.
--Army Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash.
--Army Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan.
--Marine Sgt. Daniel D. Gurr, 21, of Vernal, Utah
--Army Spc. Jinsu Lee, 34, of Chatsworth, Calif.
--Army Spc. Mark J. Downer, 23, of Warner Robins, Ga.
--Army Capt. Waid C. Ramsey,41, of Red Bay, Ala.