Rural America Making Largest Sacrifice For Iraq, North Dakota Third In Troops Lost Per Capita
Given the general “red state” versus “blue state” break down in political ideology the idea that the soldiers who are fighting, and dying, for this country in Iraq come at higher rates from rural communities than urban communities isn’t all that surprising.
UNDATED (AP) A new analysis shows that small states like North Dakota and South Dakota and small towns are bearing a disproportionate burden of the Iraq war.
An Associated Press analysis shows that nearly half of the more than 31-hundred U-S military casualties in Iraq have come from towns with fewer than 25-thousand people. And one in five are from hometowns of less than five-thousand people.
Vermont ranks first in the nation in terms of the number of Iraq casualties in comparison to the population of the state. South Dakota is second, followed by Alaska, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Delaware, Montana, Louisiana and Oregon.
As a small-town guy in a rural state I notice, probably more than people from other parts of the country, the pervasive condescension that comes from those who live in the larger population centers of this nation. It gets tiresome, but it’s nothing new. Mostly I don’t worry about it, but I would like to take the occasion of this study to point out that despite all the derision that is often lumped on middle America, when this country needs warriors it’s the “hicks” from fly-over country who saddle up.
On a related note, you gotta love how the AP tries to add a little “we’re making the poor and under privileged fight our wars!” spin to the article:
The A-P analysis also found that nearly three quarters of those killed in Iraq came from towns where the per capita income was below the national average. More than half came from towns where the percentage of people living in poverty topped the national average.
Of course, these income and poverty stats weren’t adjusted for cost of living. While the folks who live in America’s rural communities may not earn as much as their L.A. or New York counterparts their dollar goes a whole lot further when housing prices are a 1/10th of what they are in the big city, and most citizens don’t have to spend the gas commuting an hour back and forth to work every day.
What I’m saying is that what would be a below-average or even poverty-level wage in a place like Chicago or Minneapolis can actually translate in to a relatively affluent lifestyle in Minot, North Dakota.