To mark Veterans Day, a federal holiday honoring those who have served in the United States Armed Forces, New American Economy (NAE) released a report, An Unheralded Contribution: Honoring America’s Fallen Foreign-Born Service Members Post 9/11, which evaluates the number of immigrants who have made the ultimate sacrifice: giving their lives in service on America’s battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Examining military casualty reports and obituaries from September 11, 2001 through 2013, as well as genealogical information for more than 6,000 fallen service members, the report reveals that 284 immigrants died advancing the country’s national security interests. The data presented has not previously been tracked or released by the U.S. military.
The report finds:
- 2 percent of all active duty military casualties between September 11, 2001 and the end of 2013 were foreign-born service members.
- Of the armed services, the U.S. Army held the largest share of foreign-born military casualties—205 soldiers.
- The fallen foreign-born service members hail from a diverse range of countries, including Mexico (which accounted for 20 percent of all foreign casualties), the Philippines, and Jamaica.
- The immigrants who lost their lives while deployed were often in positions of leadership: almost half of the foreign-born casualties examined had reached the rank of sergeant or higher.