Special Report

More People From California Have Died in Post 9/11 Wars Than Any Other State

The World Trade Center towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, in the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil. America was not at war with any of the countries where the terrorists lived or trained – at least not as far as the president and Congress are concerned. Based on the Constitution, only Congress can declare war, and one has not been declared since World War II. But America has been involved in military conflicts around the world almost constantly for the last century or longer, including the post 9/11 operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have taken a grim toll on the U.S. military.

The first Americans killed in battle after 9/11 were soldiers killed in Afghanistan in October 2001. Between then and today, almost 7,000 Americans have been killed in military conflicts. Most perished in Afghanistan and Iraq. These operations were part of what came to be known as “The War on Terror.” Among the goals of these efforts were the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and regime change in Iraq. The U.S. has withdrawn from the geographic areas and countries where these conflicts happened, but not before thousands of American lives were lost. (Also see how many people from your state died in World War II.)

While the vast majority of Americans killed during the War on Terror died in combat situations, hundreds of deaths also occurred in non-hostile situations. Many deaths were the result of accidents like aircraft crashes and friendly fire incidents. A conflict’s death toll also includes those attributable to illness and suicide. (These are 12 wars where the most Americans died outside of combat.)

24/7 Wall St. set out to identify the states where the most service members were killed in conflicts stemming from the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, using data from iCasualties, a website that tracks the death toll from the post 9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Big states like California and Texas had the most deaths because they have the largest populations. In all conflicts post 9/11, 755 Californians were killed (486 in the Afghanistan War and 269 in Iraq War), accounting for 11% of all U.S. deaths in these conflicts. Texans accounted for 9% of all U.S. deaths in conflicts post 9/11, with 617 killed (426 in the Afghanistan War and 191 in Iraq War).

See each state’s death toll in America’s post 9/11 wars.

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