For What Itís Worth,
Consider a Debt We All Owe

By E. J. Bradshaw

Freedom is never free! Last Thursday, Veterans Day, we acknowledged the debt and paid tribute to those who purchased and preserved our freedom and those who today stand between us and the loss of freedom. A brief look at history spotlights the enormity of our debt and should inspire tribute to our service persons past and present.

During the American Revolution (1775-1783) 217,000 service members fought

for freedom - 4,435 died and 6,188 were wounded. In the War of 1812, 286,730 served: 2,260 died and 4,505 were wounded. During the Indian Wars in 1817-1898, approximately 106,000 service members were involved and 1,000 died. The War with Mexico, 1846-1848, had 78,718 service members and recorded 1,733 deaths in battle and 11,550 non-battle deaths. There were 4,152 persons wounded. In the war to preserve the Union, 1861-1865, 2,213,363 persons wore the blue and 1,050,000 persons wore the gray. The Union Army lost 140,414 persons; the Confederates lost 74,524 with an unknown number wounded. Deaths other than service connected among both armies totaled 283,394. During the Spanish American War, 306,760 served and lost 385 in battle, 1,662 wounded and 2,061 died from other causes. In World War I, 1917-1918, 4,734,991 persons served with 53,402 battle deaths, 204,002 wounded and 63,114 dying from non-battle causes. World War II (1940-1945) had 16,112,566 service persons participating: battle deaths totaled 291,557, the wounded numbered 671,846 and 113,842 died from other causes. The Korean War (1950-1953) had 5,720,000 in service with 1,789,000 serving in Korea, 33,741 dying in battle and 103,284 suffering battle wounds and 17,672 dying from other causes during the war. During the Vietnam War (1964-1975), 8,744,000 persons were in service with 3,403,000 serving in the war zone: battle deaths totaled 47,424; 10,785 died from other causes while in the war zone; and 153,303 were wounded. During the Gulf War (1990-1991) and the Global War on Terror, 3,696,008 have and are now serving. 4,348 have died from wounds and 40,373 were wounded.

What a debt we owe to these and their families and to approximately one and a half million who daily stand between us and danger. Every time you go to vote; go to church - school - read a newspaper or as a free person engage in any other activity, THANK GOD AND OUR SERVICE PEOPLE.

You may contact E. J. Bradshaw at 337-238-0440;