Source: Chicago Sun Times
At least 36 American troops who died in service to their country in Iraq or Afghanistan have donated a total of 141 organs to desperately ill European patients awaiting transplants.
Most of the organs have come from U.S. troops who died at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, near Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where they were transported from the combat zones.
Because organs deteriorate quickly and would go bad before they could be flown across the Atlantic to the U.S., the destination of the hearts, lungs and other organs is effectively limited to close-by Europe, and most often Germany.
Germany has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in Europe, which means it also has far more patients needing transplants than there are available organs.
Only about 17 percent of Germans are registered organ donors, compared with about 37 percent of Americans.
Scripps Howard News Service