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PSAs to support veteran#039;s memorial

The "unsung heroes" of this nation's wars are having their praises sung by a national war hero, a renowned poet and a football star and people are listening.

Retired Army General Norman Schwarzkopf, Poet Laureate Dr. Maya Angelou and New York Giants star defensive end Michael Strahan are participating in a national public service announcement campaign to support the effort to build the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.

Randy Ross, veterans' service officer for Pike County, said their support of this project is creating interest among Pike Countians.

"When people like Gen. Schwarzkopf, Maya Angelou and Michael Strahan get behind a project, it really begins to pick up steam," Ross said. "Until recently, we had not gotten any inquires about the monument. Hopefully, people all across the nation will get behind this project to recognize the unsung heroes of our wars - the veterans who are disabled for life because they were willing to give up everything they had and everything they were in service to their country."

Ross said the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial is the first memorial exclusively dedicated to America's disabled veterans.

"The memorial has been approved by Congress and will be located near the U.S. Capitol building off the mall in Washington, D.C.," he said. "The memorial will cost about $60 million and will come from private funding."

The public service announcements are helping to raise awareness about the development of the monument which is scheduled for completion within the next several years.

"The Disabled Veterans' Life Memorial Foundation was founded in 1996 to honor the millions of veterans of the United States Armed Forces who became disabled for life while fighting for and protecting American freedoms and principles," Ross said.

The purpose of the memorial will be to provide all Americans with a place to express their appreciation for the men and women who came home bearing the scars of war.

"The memorial will educate future generations about the human cost of war and serve as a reminder of the disabled veteran's honor, service and sacrifice," Ross said. "The memorial is a very noble project and deserves our support. Today, there are 2.3 million disabled veterans living in the United States.

"Those numbers include 500 veterans who lost both arms while serving in the military and 17,000 paralyzed veterans.

More than 12,000 veterans are totally blind and an undetermined number of veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress or Combat Fatigue. These are the men and women who will be honored by the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial."

Schwarzkopf is an American war hero who commanded the Allied Forces during the Persian Gulf War. Angelou is one of the great voices of contemporary literature and Strahan was the National Football League Defensive Player of the Year in 2002.

For more information about the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, contact Ross at 807-5010.

To make a donation, mail a check payable to the Disabled Veterans' Life Memorial Foundation, 2300 M Street, NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20037.