The rise of citizen concern about armed conflict in regions like Syria and Crimea makes the 2016 global spotlight shine a little less brightly on Iraq.
In the face of pressing global challenges, like the massive refugee crisis spurred by the protracted Syrian conflict, it is all too easy to overlook the estimated 4,497 deaths and 32,021 injuries of U.S. soldiers in the Iraq War. This loss is compounded by the estimated 500,000 Iraqi fatalities attributed to the U.S. invasion, further imploring a moment of nationwide introspection about the consequences of armed conflict.
When studying lessons learned from the Iraq War, and how these lessons can help mitigate future conflict, it is important to begin by understanding that reading about massive war stats continually fails to capture the magnitude of lives lost. How can anyone possibly measure the cumulative hopes and dreams of approximately 505,000 souls?
While we cannot answer this unanswerable question, we can tell that April 4, 2016 marked the twelfth anniversary of Casey Sheehan’s passing, one of the 4,497 U.S. soldiers that lost their life in Iraq. Casey would be 36 if he were alive today. His chance to raise a family, volunteer with the Boy Scouts and church that he loved, and celebrate Mother’s Day with his family was cut tragically short.