Young Americans

Veterans Toll-Free Crisis Line:
 1-800-273-8255, Press 1 
Or, Text to 838255


Click for the history of the US Flag
It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle.
It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.

General Norman Schwarskopf (1934 - 2012)
Commander of Desert Storm Operations

The purpose of this page is to pay tribute to the men and women of the US Armed Forces who serve and sacrifice with courage and honor. I have provided information from the Department of Defense and NATO for historical perspective only. I'll leave the analysis of world events up to you, the reader, because this is not a political site.

Since October 2001, the blood of American soldiers has soaked foreign soil in the name of freedom. Every day the men and women of the US military show courage, discipline, unwavering dedication and the willingness to sacrifice.

The drawdown in Iraq marked the formal completion of the combat mission, but as many as 50,000 non-combat US troops remained in that country until the end of 2011. Operation Iraqi Freedom changed its name to Operation New Dawn. American sacrifice was not over, however: There were 73 American deaths and 295 wounded in Operation New Dawn from September 1, 2010 to December 18, 2011. The last battalion left Iraq on December 18, 2011, officially ending the war.

After 13 years of combat operations in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom drew to a close on December 28, 2014. Freedom isn't free and here are the grim statistics to prove it: 2351 Americans died and 20,096 were wounded in Operation Enduring Freedom worldwide from the start of the war on October 7, 2001 to its formal end date of 12/28/2014. The final American death count for Operation Iraqi Freedom is 4423. (March 20, 2003 - August 31, 2010.) This death toll represents a profound loss of youth and human potential.

15 October 2014: Operation Inherent Resolve officially refers to U.S. military actions against ISIL, specifically the campaigns in Iraq and Syria. At last count*, there have been 78 deaths and 81 wounded in action.

December 28, 2014: Operation Freedom's Sentinel is a U.S. Military mission in Afghanistan. It is part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission. The goal is to maintain a limited U.S. military presence in Afghanistan to train, advise and assist Afghan forces and to conduct counter-terrorism operations. Operation Freedom's Sentinel is the follow-on mission to Operation Enduring Freedom. To date*, there have been 392 injuries and 70 deaths reported in Operation Freedom's Sentinel.

30 October 2015: Special Forces ground troops are deployed to Syria to fight ISIS. So far, the casualty and death counts are included in the Operation Inherent Resolve statistics. 

At least 31,957 US troops and personnel were wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Many of the wounded soldiers are permanently maimed. I cannot express in writing the magnitude of loss and the personal pain of war.

*Source: Requires free PDF Adobe® Reader®

US Fatalities as of April 25, 2019:  
(The DoD site is updated daily.)  
Totals include DoD Civilian Casualties.  

Wounded Americans:                      
Same source as above.
Totals equal those returned and not returned to duty.



My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the brave young men and women in uniform who have given the last full measure of devotion in service to their country. May the God of your understanding wrap loving arms around you and give you exactly what you need when you need it. I wish you unexpected comfort and peace.

To those who continue to serve in the US Armed Forces:
Thank you for your courage, sacrifice and honorable service
. Stay safe and return home soon to the warm embrace of family, friends and a grateful nation.


Freedom Is Not Free

By Kelly Strong 

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought... how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves
No, Freedom is not Free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;

I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands.
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.

No. Freedom is not Free!

Of all the gifts you can give a US soldier, prayer is the very best one. 

Operation Worship: Providing Bibles for the Troops 

Military Chaplains Association SM USA 

Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA



Sworn to defend...
Click to read or print the US Constitution

When our Heroes go without
Go to TroopsDirect.org to learn how you can help
Troops Direct is there 24/7

Every day, at least 22 veterans kill themselves, but the number is probably higher.
22Kill offers information and support to stop the epidemic
and examines the reasons behind the epidemic.

Healing the Hidden Wounds of War
 Cost-Free  Bureaucracy-Free  Stigma-Free
Veterans Helping Veterans
A 501c3 nonprofit organization

Helping women Veterans help themselves. 


Go to next section: Letters from the Heart 
The Grieving Heart is getting a new home...
Grief has no timetable, but the launch of a new website does: August 1, 2019.                                                                     
The updated design will be easy to use, secure and mobile-friendly.
Please visit again. Thank you!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

My E-mail:

Christine (at) The Grieving Heart (dot) info 

A Word About E-mail: One way to decrease SPAM caused by Internet bots is to deactivate the live address link. You can still contact me by typing this address into your own e-mail program using @, a period, and no spaces, the standard e-mail format. Thank you.

Note to Visitors:
I read and respond to grief email at the end of each month when I update this site. If you need a more timely response, please visit a well moderated grief healing discussion group. It is free to use and requires registration to participate. I am not part of this group, but certified grief counselors are there to help, support and comfort grievers and those who love them. Because the counselors lost funding for the site, they are grateful for voluntary donations.
Why no links to Facebook and other social media? Click here for the answer.   


How complicated and individual mending is,
the time required for healing
cannot be measured against any fixed calendar
Mary Jane Moffat
© Copyright 2008 - 2019 Christine Jette.
All rights reserved.