One inch: Death in combat hinges on the tiniest margins

Image: ISAFmedia/Flickr Four soldiers, four battles — and, between them…

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Image: ISAFmedia/Flickr

Four soldiers, four battles — and, between them — four total inches separate the slim expanse between death and life.

One died because his armor plating wasn’t one inch higher. Three survived by that same tiny fraction, left to mull the unanswerable: “Why am I still here?”

In the final days of 2012, the somber tally of American service members wounded in action in Afghanistan surpassed 18,000 while the number of U.S. military men and women killed there eclipsed 2,040, according to the Department of Defense.

As Jesse Holder can attest, many of those 20,000-plus causalities are here — or are gone — based on a cold geometric fact of war: So often, everything comes down to a single inch.

Read the rest of Bill Briggs’s article at NBC News

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