As of Christmas Day, the number of American troops killed in Iraq the past 45 months has surpassed the body count of Sept. 11th, the

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Dying To Inform

Maj. Megan McClung KIA while guiding the media.

As of Christmas Day, the number of American troops killed in Iraq the past 45 months has surpassed the body count of Sept. 11th, the AP reports. The war dead today tops 2,980, while 2,973 people were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The toll includes five more troops with Washington state connections, whose obituaries we posted today. That brings the state's count to 147 - or 158 when including those who died in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Among the recent deaths is that of Marine Maj. Megan M. McClung, 34, of Coupeville, the highest-ranking military woman killed in Iraq and the first female Marine officer to die in the war. A press liaison, McClung died from a roadside bomb while escorting an embedded crew from Newsweek magazine, and earlier had dropped off TV host Oliver North and a FOX News crew; none was injured. McClung was remembered fondly by many journalists for her assistance. The New Republic's Lawrence Kaplan, for one, called her his "guardian angel."  Said the major's mother, Re McClung: "She wanted to get the message out about the courageous folks who are there doing their job."

 
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