The Carsey Institute
University of New Hampshire
EDITORS AND REPORTERS: William O'Hare can be reached for interviews at 443-472-7434 (cell)
DURHAM, N.H. – William O’Hare, Rural Fellow with the Carsey Institute,
will discuss research showing that U.S. rural soldiers are dying at a high
rate in Iraq and Afghanistan at the public forum “The War and Rural America,” Saturday,
Sept. 8, 2007, in New York City.
O’Hare is the author of the Carsey Institute study, “U.S. Rural Soldiers Account for a Disproportionately High Share of Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan,” which is available for download at carseyinstitute.unh.edu/documents/FS_ruralsoldiers_06.pdf.
Sponsored by Farms Not Arms and Family Farm Defenders, "The War and Rural America," will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Warwick Hotel, 65 West 54th St., New York.
According to the 2006 Carsey Institute report, the death rate of soldiers from rural areas has exceeded that of urban military recruits in the majority of states. Rural areas account for only 19 percent of the adult population in the United States, but have suffered 27 percent of the casualties.
The death rate for rural soldiers (24 deaths per million adults ages 18 to 59) is 60 percent higher than the death rate for those soldiers from cities and suburbs (15 deaths per million).
Vermont has the highest rural death toll and Delaware, home of Dover Air Force Base where the military routinely ships bodies back from overseas, has the second-highest rural death rate. In addition to Vermont and Delaware, Oregon, Nebraska and Arizona also have lost a highly disproportionate number of service men and women from rural areas.
The elevated rural death rate reflects a higher enlistment rate among young adults in rural America, where private sector jobs are often scarce. Only 24 percent of employed young adults, ages 18 to 24, hold full-time jobs in rural communities. Traditional rural employment in farming, logging, mining, fishing and small manufacturing have been declining for many years.
For more information the public forum “The War and Rural America,” visit www.farmsnotarms.org/ or contact Doug Stevenson, Farms Not Arms, 931-964-2590 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire conducts research and analysis on the challenges facing rural families and communities in New Hampshire, New England, and the nation. The Carsey Institute sponsors independent, interdisciplinary research that documents trends and conditions affecting families and communities, providing valuable information and analysis to policymakers, practitioners, the media, and the general public. Through this work, the Carsey Institute contributes to public dialogue on policies that encourage social mobility and sustain healthy, equitable communities. The Carsey Institute was established in May 2002 with a generous gift from UNH alumna and noted television producer Marcy Carsey. Visit us online at carseyinstitute.unh.edu/.