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Sep 11th, 2009

Image: ground zero, terrorist attacks, Sept 11, 9/11, changing nyc, Collavino, attacks redevelopment

9/11 Eighth Anniversary Coverage

The Darkest Day: How 9/11 Unfolded


Wounded Troops Mend as War Coverage Wanes

Image: Capt. Sam Brown
Capt. Sam Brown, 25, whose Humvee was blown up in Afghanistan, goes through rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, in July 2009. With the timetable for withdrawal from Iraq set and the fighting in Afghanistan nearing its ninth year, war coverage has waned, pushed from the spotlight by fears about the economy and other domestic issues. (Photo credit: Eric Gay / AP)

September 10, 2009

SAN ANTONIO — A year after Capt. Sam Brown was set ablaze when a bomb blew up his Humvee in Afghanistan, the 25-year-old West Point graduate endures a steady schedule of painful surgery and stretching to break up knotty burn scars.

He also has another routine: checking a Web site that counts U.S. and coalition troop deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For Brown, it’s one more regular reminder that the wars have not ended — something he says many Americans seem to have forgotten.

With the timetable set for withdrawal from Iraq and the fighting in Afghanistan nearing its ninth year, U.S. war coverage has waned, often pushed off the front page by the economy, health care and celebrity deaths.

But for severely wounded soldiers — those with huge burn scars and amputated limbs — the wars are no distant memory. Their long and painful recovery battles are a constant reminder. …

About 130,000 American troops are in Iraq, and the military plans to keep 100,000 there through January. About 62,000 troops are in Afghanistan, with 6,000 more headed there by the end of the year.

More than 5,100 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. deaths in Afghanistan have reached record levels — August was the deadliest month so far.

Still, polls show that while most Americans say Iraq and Afghanistan are important, many more fret about domestic concerns. An AP-GfK poll in July showed a little more than 60 percent rated the wars as extremely or very important, while 91 percent said the same about the economy.

Last month, an ABC News-Washington Post poll found 51 percent of Americans said the war in Afghanistan isn’t worth fighting. …

Staff Sgt. Shilo Harris, who was severely burned in a 2007 truck explosion that killed three friends, said after his first deployment ended in early 2005, the wars seemed to be more pressing. But the McCamey, Texas, father of four who joined the Army after the Sept. 11 attacks said the current focus on domestic concerns doesn’t bother him.

“There are domestic issues that require a great deal of attention now. I agree with that, because our families need to be taken care of,” he said. He added: “I know our soldiers won’t be forgotten. And I pray that Americans do not forget why we are fighting.”


Related report

Doubts grow over Afghan war efforts


Recent related reports on this site

Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties (Sept. 8, 2009)

Obama War Strategy Setback (Aug. 29, 2009)

Afghan Bombing One of Largest (Aug. 26, 2009)

Afghan War: Obama’s Hard Choices (Aug. 23, 2009)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — September 11, 2008

After the Primary Election: Day 2

One year ago today, on the second day after losing my 2008 primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I paid tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11.

Tribute to the Victims and Heroes of 9/11

America Grieves

Amazing Grace 9/11

5 Responses to “9/11 — Eight Years After”
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