(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Important Note: You will need to click this icon to download the free needed to view most of the images on this Web site - just a couple of clicks and you're "good to go." For reasons why - go here.
A listing and access link to all:
song lyrics and mp3 audio files http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/ (all of which are a part of this Web site) can be accessed simply by selecting the "htm" file for the song you want;
quotations http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations.htm; and
essays written by Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/articles_larry_blakeley.htm,
all of which are used to tell the story in this Web site, can be accessed by going to each respective link set out above.
My son, Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larryblakeley_photos_jpeg.htm manages this Web site.
Major Roy James Blakeley (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - USAF (KIA)
When I was young my dad would say
Come on son let's go out and play
No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say goodbye
- "I Still Can't Say Goodbye," Performer: Chet Atkins
MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm
For a larger image click on the photograph.
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, for example, last July http://www.csbaonline.org/4Publications/Archive/B.20040702.IraqViet/B.20040702.IraqViet.pdf downplayed the intensity of the Iraq war on this basis, arguing that "it would take over 73 years for U.S. forces to incur the level of combat deaths suffered in the Vietnam war."
But a comparative analysis of U.S. casualty statistics from Iraq tells a different story. After factoring in medical, doctrinal, and technological improvements, infantry duty in Iraq circa 2004 comes out just as intense as infantry duty in Vietnam circa 1966 - and in some cases more lethal. Even discrete engagements, such as the battle of Hue City in 1968 and the battles for Fallujah in 2004, tell a similar tale: Today's grunts are patrolling a battlefield every bit as deadly as the crucible their fathers faced in Southeast Asia.
... improvements to military medicine since Vietnam have dramatically reduced the rate at which U.S. troops die of wounds sustained in combat.
Gawande applied the same methodology to U.S. casualty statistics in previous wars, arriving at a "lethality of wounds" rate for each conflict. In World War II, 30 percent of wounds proved deadly. In Korea, Vietnam, and the first Gulf War, this rate hovered between 24 percent and 25 percent. But due to better medical technology, doctrinal changes that push surgical teams closer to the front lines, and individual armor protection for soldiers, this rate has dropped to 10 percent for Operation Iraqi Freedom for all wounds. For serious wounds that keep a soldier away from duty for more than 72 hours, the mortality rate is now 16 percent. Simply, a soldier was nearly 1.5 times more likely to die from his wounds in Vietnam than in Iraq today.
That today's fighting in Iraq, by these calculations, may actually be more lethal than the street fighting in Vietnam should not be taken lightly. Vietnam was marked by long periods of well-fought, sustained combat but little perceptible gain. Volunteers outnumbered conscripts by a 9-1 ratio in the units that saw combat during the war's early days in 1966, and at first they enjoyed the support of a country that believed in their cause. But as the burden widened and deepened, and conscripts did more of the fighting and dying, the country's faith evaporated. Today's burden is not wide, but it is deep. Communities such as Oceanside, Calif., home to Camp Pendleton http://www.cpp.usmc.mil/ and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, have suffered tremendous loss during this war—nearly one-quarter of U.S. combat dead in 2004 were stationed at Camp Pendleton. Military leaders should be mindful of this fact: To send infantrymen on their third rotations to Iraq this spring is akin to assigning a trooper three tours in Vietnam: harsh in 1966 and a total absurdity by 1968.
Critics of the war may use this analysis as one more piece of ammunition to attack the effort; some supporters may continue to refer to casualties as "light," noting that typically tens of thousands of Americans must die in war before domestic support crumbles. Both miss the point. The casualty statistics make clear that our nation is involved in a war whose intensity on the ground matches that of previous American wars. Indeed, the proportional burden on the infantryman is at its highest level since World War I. With next year's budget soon to be drafted, it is time for Washington to finally address their needs accordingly.
- "Iraq 2004 Looks Like Vietnam 1966: Adjusting body counts for medical and military changes," Phillip Carter and Owen West, Slate http://slate.msn.com, December 27, 2004 http://slate.msn.com/id/2111432
File Name: phillip_carter_owen_west20041227
Post Date: December 28, 2004 at 8:30 PM CST; December 29, 2004 at 0230 GMT