Number of WWII veterans is dwindling
The men and women who served our country during World War II are leaving us rapidly. Veterans from this era are dwindling in numbers as time marches forward.
In 2013 there were more than 1.7 million Americans alive who served in World War II, but according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, around 620,000 American veterans from the war are estimated to still be alive as of 2016.
Over 16.5 million men and women served in the armed forces during World War II, of whom 291,557 died in battle, 113,842 died from other causes, and 670,846 were wounded.
With much of the “Greatest Generation” now in their 80s and 90s, hundreds of these veterans are dying every day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Within 20 years, the VA estimates, there will no longer be any living veterans from the conflict.
Here’s a look at who fought in war era conflicts and who’s still alive today:
World War I (1917-1918)
U.S. servicemembers: 4,734,991
Deaths: 116,516 (53,402 in battle)
Last veteran: Frank Buckles, died in 2011 at age 110
World War II (1941-1945)
U.S. servicemembers: 16,112,566
Deaths: 405,399 (291,557 in battle)
Estimated living veterans: 620,000
Korean War (1950-1953)
U.S. servicemembers: 5,720,000
Deaths: 54,246 (36,574 in theater)
Estimated living veterans: 2,275,000
Vietnam War (1964-1975)
U.S. servicemembers: 8,744,000 (estimated 3,403,000 deployed)
Deaths: 90,220 (58,220 in theater)
Estimated living veterans: 7,391,000
Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-1991)
U.S. servicemembers: 2,322,000 (694,550 deployed)
Deaths: 1,948 (383 in theater)
Estimated living veterans: 2,244,583 (2009 estimate, may include veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan)