Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that a recent report published in USA Today on the death rates for each state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories since the start of the Iraq war shows American Samoa continuing to have the highest rate of deaths per 1-million populations in all of the United States. Published on March 18, 2009, the report (A Statistical profile of America’s war dead in Iraq) shows American Samoa leading the United States with a death rate of 138.8 per 1-million population, more than twice that for U.S. Virgin Islands which has the second highest death rate of 54.6, and more than four times that for Vermont with a death rate of 32.2 – the highest among the 50 States and fourth highest overall.
The same report shows that more than 4,250 U.S. service members have died in the war with the highest percentage of the deaths among our military services being in the Army – 73 percent, Marines – 24 percent, Navy – 2 percent, and Air Force – 1 percent.
A similar report published also by USA Today on May 27, 2005, two years after the start of the Iraq war, showed American Samoa leading the United States with a death rate of 86.4 deaths per 1-million population. Since the time of that report, twelve more Samoans have died in the war with ten killed in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.
“I am pleased that USA Today is tracking and reporting about this aspect of the war,” Faleomavaega said. “This is certainly not something to brag about, but it is a grim reminder of the human cost of this war, and I believe it is important to note the tremendous contribution made by American Samoa through the services of her sons and daughters to our nation’s defense,” Faleomavaega said.
“I once again want to pay special tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the many freedoms we enjoy each day. To date, 17 of our finest sons and daughters have lost their lives in the defense of our nation and may we continue to remember their sacrifices and the families they have left behind.”
“At this time, I want to commend our Samoan sons and daughters who are continuing to serve proudly and in great numbers in our country’s armed forces for their bravery and heroism. We will continue to remember you and the rest of our nation’s military men and women in prayer for your safety and for a happy return home to your families and loved ones,” Faleomavaega concluded.