There are more than 3 million disabled American veterans living today, and more are added to the list every year as the war in Iraq continues. Dr. Oz talks with philanthropist Lois Pope about treating wounded soldiers on the front lines and honoring them once they return home with a life-altering injury.
For the past decade, Lois says she has been working toward an important goal—to one day have a national memorial for wounded veterans in Washington, D.C. "It is the only group of historically important heroes that have never been honored throughout American history," Lois says. "This memorial will be a tribute to their courage, to their sacrifice."
Dr. Oz says as medical practices on the front lines of war improve, there will be more wounded veterans returning from war. "I think the magnitude of the trauma nowadays is much greater and the ability to save these folks is much greater," Dr. Oz says. While more veterans are being saved, he says their injuries will likely change them for life. "If you are wounded so badly that you would have died because both of your legs have been blown off—and now you are saved—it is a life that is very different for you."
Lois says a memorial to honor living, injured soldiers is now taking shape, after a decade of raising awareness and funds. The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial won't likely be completed until 2010, but she says disabled veterans all around the country are already feeling pride in being associated with a national memorial. "They really feel it would be a place where people of our nation could go and say thank you for a job well done," Lois says. "They don't want any more than that—that is all they want."