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Heroes Finally Get the Recognition They Deserve

Veterans with disabilities are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

On October 5, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial (AVDLM) will officially be dedicated and opened in Washington, D.C. The $80-million memorial will honor the country’s four million veterans who return from service with some kind of disability, according to AVDLM’s website. In addition, the memorial will honor those who take care of these wounded heroes.

One such caregiver is Donna Joyner, who’s been helping her husband every day for the last 33 years. In a profile in The Washington Times, Joyner describes how she cares for Dennis Joyner, a triple amputee who lost both his legs and his left hand while serving in the Vietnam War. She eventually quit her job in 2008 to care for him full-time. She told the paper:

I gave up my job, the income, any pension that I would have received. I will not get as much Social Security when I get to be that age because I had to leave and take care of my husband, because my husband was totally incapacitated, and we did not want him to go to a rehab facility, because he wouldn’t get the care at a rehab facility that he would with me. That’s where the compassion comes in.

The new memorial is completely handicap accessible and features 12-foot granite walls with inscribed quotes from leaders like George Washington and Dwight D. Eisenhower, according to The New York Times. There’s a star-shaped fountain — one point for each branch of the United States military — with a flame at the center. It also features bronze statues, which blind visitors are encouraged to touch.

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The memorial is located on Capitol Hill. Donna Joyner told The Washington Times she hopes that lawmakers will see it and be reminded of the cost of war.

Check out this time lapse video of the memorial being erected:

h/t Nation Swell

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