During the past 10 years of war in Afghanistan, thousands of troops have died and thousands more have been wounded.
A look at the statistics from the war reveals some broad and basic trends: The casualties have increased steadily every year, with a jump in the past three years of the war, a sizable number of the troops who have died are relatively young and many of the casualties have occurred in the southern part of Afghanistan.
August has been the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since the conflict began nearly 10 years ago.
Sixty-six American troops have died this month, topping July 2010 when 65 troops died, according to a CNN tally.
Almost half the August troop deaths took place on August 6 when insurgents shot down their helicopter in the eastern central province of Wardak. The Taliban claimed militants downed the helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade.
Thirty U.S. service members - including 17 Navy SEALs - were killed in that attack, the single largest loss of life for U.S. troops since the Afghan war began in late 2001.
In contrast, 36 U.S. service members were killed in all of July. Prior to the August attack, the most U.S. troops killed in a single month this year was 47 in June.
A "surge" of 33,000 additional troops in 2009 - in response to increased insurgent attacks - led to an uptick in U.S. deaths over previous years, with 499 killed in 2010. Prior to the surge, the most U.S. troops killed in a single year was 155 in 2008, according to CNN figures.
The surge in U.S. deaths comes as NATO is drawing down and handing over security control to national forces. Some 10,000 U.S. troops are scheduled to depart by year's end, with all U.S. military personnel out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Editor's note: Rebekah Sanderlin is an Army wife, a mother of two and a freelance writer who lives near Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She writes the "Operation Marriage" blog about military family life.
I was barely through my first cup of coffee Saturday morning when my husband called. He's not deployed now, but had to spend Friday night training at Fort Bragg. He'd heard rumors about the helicopter crash in Afghanistan but didn't know any details. I quickly jumped on CNN.com and found the headline "Dozens of Americans dead," and my heart fell like an anchor.
Once together, my husband and I immediately began a roll call, anxiously suggesting names to each other of everyone we know who is deployed in Afghanistan, wondering if any of our friends might be dead.FULL STORY
The home video from Marine Lance Cpl. John F. Farias held little back from his parents about the dangers of fighting in Afghanistan, about how the experience was changing him and about how much he missed his family.
"I'm starting to change a lot. I'm kind of forced to grow up here," Farias said in the first video he sent home to New Braunfels, Texas, since deploying in April to southern Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province.
They were among his final words for his family. Farias was one of two Marines killed during combat operations in the province Tuesday, the Department of Defense said. FULL POST
Crowds lined the roads as the body of Private Lamarol Tucker, killed in Afghanistan, was returned home.
They are just three of the more than 2,400 U.S. and coalition troops who have died in Afghanistan since the war began almost 10 years ago.
This Memorial Day, explore CNN's Home and Away, sharing your messages or memories and discovering the individual stories of the fallen.
In a story from CNN's Special Investigative Unit, Drew Griffin and Jessi Joseph examine the accusations against the U.S. Army of covering up mistakes in the 2008 battle of Wanat in Afganistan.
The July 13, 2008 battle at Wanat, near the Pakistani frontier, was one of the bloodiest since the Afghan war began in 2001. A U.S. force of 49, plus 24 Afghan troops, desperately fought off an attack by some 200 Taliban fighters, calling in air strikes barely 30 feet from their own positions during the struggle. The platoon, in close combat with Taliban fighters, repelled the enemy after nearly four hours of intense fire at a cost of nine Americans dead and 27 wounded.
Find out more about the fallen at CNN's Casualties: Home and Away:
- Jonathan P. Brostrom, 24, of Aiea, Hawaii
- Israel Garcia, 24, of Long Beach, California
- Jonathan R. Ayers, 24, of Snellville, Georgia
- Jason M. Bogar, 25, of Seattle, Washington
- Jason D. Hovater, 24, of Clinton, Tennessee
- Matthew B. Phillips, 27, of Jasper, Georgia
- Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, North Carolina
- Gunnar W. Zwilling, 20, of Florissant, Missouri
- Sergio S. Abad, 21, of Morganfield, Kentucky
By Drew Griffin and Jessi Joseph, CNN Special Investigative Unit
It will go down in history as one of the U.S. military's worst battles in Afghanistan. And according to the families of the soldiers who died there, the history written by the U.S. Army is biased and inaccurate.
By Wayne Drash, CNN
It started with a Facebook status update. Upset at the media's coverage of Charlie Sheen, someone took up for American soldiers dying in Afghanistan.
"Charlie Sheen is all over the news because he's a celebrity drug addict," it said, "while Andrew Wilfahrt 31, Brian Tabada 21, Rudolph Hizon 22, Chauncy Mays 25, are soldiers who gave their lives this week with no media mention. Please honor them by posting this as your status for a little while."
The status update has since gone viral, shared by tens of thousands on Facebook. An abbreviated version is on Twitter.
When a friend of mine posted the message on her Facebook page, it was a sobering reminder of the news media’s failings of covering the Afghanistan war. I kept returning to the names of the four soldiers. Who were these men? What’s their story?
Violence erupted in Afghanistan on Wednesday
when assaults killed five coalition troops and a suicide bomber killed two people.
NATO's International Security Assistance Force said the service members died in attacks in volatile regions of the country.