United States losses in Vietnam were 55,000 killed and 304,000 wounded. The vast majority of these losses occurred between 1965 and 1973. The time period involved is just under 8 years.
United States losses in Iraq to date are approximately 4,000 killed and 30,000 wounded. The U.S. involvement in Iraq has been for just over 4 and ½ years. At that overall rate, it will take the war in Iraq until approximately the year 2060 to equal the number killed in Vietnam. It will take approximately until the year 2048 to equal the number wounded in Vietnam.
Part of the reason that the percentage of wounded to kill being higher is better medical care. What is missed is the fact that in smaller battles, it is easier to reach and treat the wounded. For example, on June 6, 1944 the United States lost more than 1,400 dead and over 6500 wounded. It would challenge today’s medical staff to treat this many injured people in one day. Not to mention captured enemy wounded. We can be certain (Nobody’s fault) that some died as a result of nobody being able to get to them in time.
The obvious conclusion of the overall casualty rate comparison is that the current war in Iraq is a much smaller war than the war in Vietnam.