VA Chaplain Grapples with the Toll of War The Iraq war has reportedly claimed at least 4,000 U.S. lives. Commentator Thomas Phillips knows firsthand about that number. The Veterans Affairs chaplain is notified whenever a member of the U.S. armed forces is killed. He wishes for the day when notifications naming the dead will stop appearing on his computer screen.
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VA Chaplain Grapples with the Toll of War

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VA Chaplain Grapples with the Toll of War

VA Chaplain Grapples with the Toll of War

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

And few Americans pay as close attention to the day-to-day toll of the war as commentator Thomas Phillips. He's a chaplain with Veteran's Affairs, and whenever a member of the American Armed Forces is killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, he receives a computer notification.

THOMAS PHILLIPS: I with the names could appear in the corner of everyone's TV screen as we watch "The Price is Right" or "House." Maybe they would slow down, then. I wish the names would just stop coming. But I know better, so I watch and read and say a prayer. God be with them. God be with their families. God watch over us all.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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