Hand salute to Afghanistan vets

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The casket of Cpt. David Wisniewski, of Moville, Iowa, who died from injuries suffered in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, arrives during a burial service at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo)

As we draw near Veteran’s Day, Outside the Wire honors all who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

It has been an especially difficult year in Afghanistan, where there has been a 5-percent increase in deaths (326) and a 33-percent increase in injuries (3,179) from fiscal 2009, according to Congressional Research Service’s annual report, “Afghanistan Casualties: Military Forces and Civilians.”

This brings the total hostile and non-hostile fatalities to 1,298. Of the 8,394 troops wounded in action, 4,103 returned to duty within 72 hours, according to the report.

The U.S. military has the highest number of casualties by far. Britain has the second largest number of troops killed in action, with 338, then Canada with 153.

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A Navy brat who spent eight years in the Marines (two years aboard the carrier Independence). Worked in journalism in Eastern North Carolina through the latter part of the 90s, then became editor of Air Force Times in 2000. Stayed there five years, then took a break to finish some school. Now back in the game with Navy Times.

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