A Soldier's Sacrifice - Death and PTSD

Updated: Jun 7

On Memorial Day Facts Not Opinions celebrates all the men and women who died while serving in the Military. We also want to bring attention to the issues that are impacting the service members who survived.



Below are the numbers of service members who passed away during various military incidents in American history.


Number of Deaths by War

  • American Revolutionary War - 25,000

  • War of 1812 - 15,000

  • Mexican American War - 13,283

  • Civil War - 655,000 (U.S 365,000, Confederacy 290,000)

  • Spanish American War - 1,622

  • Philippine American War - 4,196

  • World War 1 - 116,516

  • World War 2 - 405,399

  • Korean War - 36,516

  • Vietnam War - 58,209

  • Gulf War - 294

  • War in Afghanistan - 20,150

  • Iraq War - 4,497

At the time of the American Revolutionary War the United States had a population 2.5 Million. Below is a list of of the percentage of the population that died during each war. The highest percentage of deaths occurred during the Civil War followed by the Revolutionary War. The largest total loss of American life was during the Civil War and then World War 2.





Percentage of Deaths by Population

  • American Revolutionary War - 1.0%

  • War of 1812 - 0.21%

  • Mexican American War - 0.057%

  • Civil War - 2.39%

  • Spanish American War - 0.004%

  • Philippine American War - 0.006%

  • World War 1 - 0.11%

  • World War 2 - 0.31%

  • Korean War - 0.02%

  • Vietnam War - 0.03%

  • War in Afghanistan - 0.001%

  • Iraq War - 0.002%

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


Veterans who return home often suffer from PTSD. Symptoms can include severe anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares and reliving the events that triggered the mental health issue. PTSD symptoms can take months or years to surface. The four types of PTSD symptoms are avoidance, intrusive memories, changes to emotional and physical reactions and negative changes to mood and thinking. According to the VA the following percentages of veterans suffer PTSD.


Combat Oriented PTSD


  • 11-20% of those who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom suffer from PTSD

  • 12% of those that served during the Gulf War suffer from PTSD

  • 15% of those that served during Vietnam War suffer from PTSD

Sexual Assault and Harassment as a cause of PTSD


  • 23% of women reported sexual assault in the military

  • 55% of women reported sexual harassment in the military

  • 38% of men reported sexual harassment in the military

  • Over 50% of the the veterans with military sexual trauma are men.

While we celebrate those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation it is also important to remember those who are still suffering.


Here are some resources if you or someone you know is suffering


Veterans Affairs Mental Health

Mental Health Topics

Crisis Chat

Veteran Affairs PTSD phone number - 1-800-273-8255


The video below discusses issues that discourage veterans from seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress. It is part of a PBS series titled "War on the Brain", in this series correspondent Soledad O’Brien speaks with veterans who have struggled to get assistance and accept their diagnosis.





Facts Not Opinions is a non-profit educational research organization, providing unbiased and unfiltered data to the public. View our collection of data and interactive graphs on the topics below:








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