The United States suffered through the worst terror attack in its history on Sept. 11, 2001. From the Pentagon and the World Trade Center to a field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the attacks left 3,400 people dead. The events of that day also spawned a new era in U.S. foreign policy - one that would lead to thousands more American deaths in the coming decades.
Less than one month after the 9/11 attacks, the War on Terror began when the U.S. and NATO allies started military strikes in Afghanistan. Then, in 2003, the War on Terror escalated further, when the U.S. launched an invasion of Iraq.
Though the ongoing War on Terror achieved several goals, including the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and regime change in Iraq, the results came at a steep price. Since the first American was killed in Afghanistan in October 2001, nearly 6,900 Americans - serving in military, intelligence, and civilian capacities - from all 50 states have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A reported 115 people from Kentucky died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan of the last two decades, accounting for 1.7% of all deaths among the 50 states. Of those deaths, 71 were connected to the war in Iraq and the remaining 44 to the war in Afghanistan. Not all those reported as killed in these wars died in combat situations. Some of the deaths listed were caused by accidents like aircraft crashes, as well as friendly fire incidents, illness, and suicide.
Kentucky is home to 51,780 veterans who served in the post 9/11 era, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2021 American Community Survey.
All fatality data in this story was compiled by iCasualties, a website that tracks the death toll from the post 9/11 wars.
|Rank||State||Total deaths in post 9/11 wars||Total Iraq War deaths||Total Afghanistan War deaths||Civilian veterans who served post 9/11|