DENVER (KDVR) — The U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan is ending with the Middle Eastern country rapidly falling back into Taliban control.
Just over 2,300 American servicemembers’ lives were lost in the 20-year conflict, which was bookended by the 9/11 attacks and President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of American troops from the country.
Casualties in Afghanistan come from two official military operations: Operation Enduring Freedom, a globe-spanning conflict which lasted from late 2001 until 2014 and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, which continued operations in Afghanistan until the present.
Between the two, the U.S. Department of Defense recorded 2,443 military deaths. About 95% of those deaths, 2,311, happened from incidents in Afghanistan.
Fighting in Afghanistan reached its peak between 2009 and 2012. These three years accounted for 1,500 U.S. deaths.
The conflict had cooled significantly after Operation Enduring Freedom ended at the end of 2014 and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel began. Since then, there were only 92 U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan.
American military personnel from every single U.S. state and territory were killed in the 20 years of military operations in Afghanistan.
Highly-populated states had commensurately high numbers of fallen soldiers.
More Californians, Texans and Floridians died than in other states. There were 249 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines from California who died in Afghanistan, 188 Texans and 147 Floridians.
|U.S. state||Deaths from Afghanistan|
|District of Columbia||4|
Thirty-eight Coloradans died in the conflicts.
The first, U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Romero of Lafayette, was killed in April 2002. Most recently, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Will Dunston Lindsay was killed March 2019.
|Name||Branch of Service|
|Bear, Jordan Logan||Army|
|Birdwell, Christopher James||Army|
|Campbell, Joshua Ross||Army|
|Conde, Gabriel David||Army|
|Dietz, Danny Phillip Jr.||Navy|
|Donahue, Max William||Marine Corps|
|Durkin, Sean Michael||Army|
|Enos, Darrel Lynn||Navy|
|Falkel, Christopher Matthew||Army|
|Gillespie, Randy Joe||Air Force|
|Harris, Larry Donell Jr.||Marine Corps|
|Horns, Christopher Alexander||Army|
|Jacobs, Kedith Lamont Jr.||Army|
|Jones, Omar Alejandro||Army|
|Kirton, Brandon Michael||Army|
|Lindsay, Will Dunston||Army|
|Lyon, David Irvin||Air Force|
|McDowell, Mark Russell||Air Force|
|McNeley, Justin Jacob||Navy|
|Meis, Christopher Steele||Marine Corps|
|Milam, Charles Luke||Navy|
|Nevins, Liam Jules||Army|
|Nichols, Rob Lee||Army|
|Pearson, Brandon William||Marine Corps|
|Pirtle, James Dewel||Army|
|Roland, Matthew David||Air Force|
|Romero, Daniel Aaron||Army|
|Schulte, Roslyn Littmann||Air Force|
|Sitton, Christopher Franklin||Army|
|Smith, Jason Thomas||Marine Corps|
|Sonka, David Michael||Marine Corps|
|Stiles, Jonnie Lee||Army|
|Vorderbruggen, Adrianna Maria||Air Force|
|White, Kenneth Ryan||Army|
|Wichman, Grant Arthur||Army|
|Wilkinson, Adam Alexander||Army|
|Wykstra, Jacob Henry||Army|
As with the nation at large, Colorado’s fallen military men and women came from all four major branches of the U.S. military and all over the state.