dressed up as bad news:
If you read USA Today's front page story entitled "8,000 desert during Iraq war," make sure you read the much smaller subtitle of "But overall desertions have fallen since 9/11" and the end of the article which discloses these interesting facts:
(1) In fiscal year 2001 (which ended September 30, 2001), there were 7,978 desertions from the Army, Navy and Air Force. In fiscal 2005 (ending September 30, 2005) there were 3,456. I'm no math wiz, but that's a 50% drop in desertions since the September 11 attacks.
(2) Fiscal 2004 and Fiscal 2005 saw a total of about 8,000 desertions (the 8,000 in the title of the article). Again, I'm no math wiz, but it seems that this 2 year total was essentially the same as the number of deserters in 2001.
(3) The overall desertion rate is 0.24% of the 1.4 million U.S. forces. I'm sure Wal-Mart, General Motors and pretty much ever other large American company has more than 0.24% of their workforce leave one day never to return.