The-difference-is-visible-not-just-in-the-size-of-a-soldiers-county-of-origin-but-also-in-its-location.-Counties-disconnected-from-urban-areas-tend-to-have-higher-death-rates-regardless-of-population-size.-Small-rural-counties-have-a-death-rate-nearly-twice-that-of-counties-that-have-the-same-population-but-happen-to-be-part-of-metropolitan-areas.-Why-should-this-be-Its-not-that-Iraqi-insurgents-are-singling-out-rural-soldiers-or-that-commanders-are-putting-them-at-particular-risk.-Rather-the-armed-forces-themselves-must-be-disproportionately-drawn-from-rural-communities-a-fact-not-immediately-discernible-from-recruitment-data-which-report-the-race-age-and-education-of-recruits-but-not-their-home-counties.-This-is-above-all-an-economics-story.-Military-studies-consistently-find-that-a-poor-economy-is-a-boon-to-recruiting.-The-higher-rate-of-deaths-from-rural-counties-likely-reflects-sparse-opportunities-for-young-people-in-those-places.-When-the-Iraq-war-memorials-go-up-in-years-to-come-these-monuments-to-heroism-and-sacrifice-will-be-found-less-often-in-thriving-urban-centers-than-in-lagging-rural-communities.-First-published-in-The-New-York-Times-July-19-200

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