The war in Afghanistan, also known as Operation Enduring Freedom, has hit a grim milestone with the death of Marine Cpl. Taylor J. Baune of Andover, Minn., who was killed in Helmand province. Baune’s death marks the 2,000th U.S. soldier killed in the Middle Eastern nation since the U.S. first invaded.
Baune, 21, was set to retire from the U.S. Marines this year, because he did not intend on spending his life in the military. Instead, RT reports that the newlywed will go down in history as the 2,000th U.S. service member to die in America’s longest ongoing war.
The Huffington Post reports that President Barack Obama flew to Afghanistan in early May, in order to finalize an agreement with Afghan President Hammid Karzai, which details the U.S. ceding control of military operations in the country by the end of 2014.
According to RT, a Reuters/Ipsos survey published in May showed that 88 percent of Americans who were polled are in favor of removing all U.S. combat troops out of the country by the end of this year.
The gruesome milestone with the death of Cpl. Baune comes just weeks after the Defense Department disclosed another shocking statistic, according to RT. In the Pentagon’s latest research, they discovered the rate of suicide among active duty American soldiers is around one-per-day, making it the biggest killer among combat troops, outside of combat itself.
Dr. Stephen N. Xenakis, a retired Army brigadier general and a practicing psychiatrist, stated that:
“It’s a sign in general of the stress the Army has been under over the 10 years of war. We’ve seen before that these signs show up even more dramatically when the fighting seems to go down and the Army is returning to garrison.”