From time to time critics of the war will make the claim that the soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq are from the lower echelons of the social order and are people who had no good alternatives to military service. In other words, we are given to understand, they're not really volunteers. Often the implication is that the casualties are largely members of minority groups who disproportionately shoulder the burden for the white man's wars.
This study of American fatalities in Iraq strongly suggests that those assumptions are uninformed nonsense.
This is the breakdown of fatalities by ethnicity:
American Indian or Alaska Native: 25
Black or African American: 231
Hispanic or Latino: 248
Multiple races, pending or unknown: 29
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 23
This is a rough breakdown of where soldiers killed between March of 2003 and March of 2005 came from in the U.S.:
26.2% were from cities and large towns in the U.S.
40.5% were from suburbs in the U.S.
33.3% were from rural areas in the U.S.
The picture that emerges from this data shows that, contrary to the picture of the average KIA as a poor, non-white, urban male, the casualties of this war are overwhelmingly white suburbanites.