Afghan War Killing More and More Iraq Veterans

Death toll stands at 996
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2010 5:00 AM CST
Marines carry two wounded comrades to a waiting helicopter, following an attack on their armored vehicle by a planted improvised explosive device, in Marjah, Helmand province, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – The American death toll from the war in Afghanistan is nearing 1,000, according to the Pentagon's official death toll and already over it according to unofficial counts. The number of military personnel killed in Operation Enduring Freedom, which stood at 996 as of yesterday, includes a rising number of service members who survived serving in Iraq only to die in Afghanistan, the Washington Post reports.

Of the 73 Americans killed in Afghanistan since Dec. 1, 23 were Iraq veterans. Among them is Marine Staff Sgt. Chris Eckard, 30, an explosive expert who served four tours in Iraq and was killed in Helmand province Saturday. "Chris loved the Marines. He was all about the Marines," his sister-in-law said. "This was going to be his last tour." White House officials say 1,000 is an arbitrary figure and they have no wish to draw special attention to it.

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