From History's Big Picture
Eric Smith has gone in search of Middle America, which he defines as the people living in the nation’s small towns and the less-than-glamorous cities far from the coasts. “Middle America drives our economy, defines popular culture, and fights our wars.”
Smith isn’t an economist, and he admits that perhaps he’s wrong about the cultural impact of the spending power of small towns. But an Associated Press study has confirmed his belief about their importance to the Iraq war: half of U.S. troops killed in Iraq came from communities with fewer than 25,000 people. And one in five soldiers hails from a town with fewer than 5,000 residents, according to AP.
Eric Smith: Funeral for Iraq War Soldier, Morley, Michigan,2006