The word hero -- best describe those who put their lives on the line for what matters most. And you may find the most examples of heroism in America's armed forces. Many never returned from battles... See More
The word hero -- best describe those who put their lives on the line for what matters most. And you may find the most examples of heroism in America's armed forces. Many never returned from battles abroad and many who do. Are never the same. Injuries seen and unseen. But as only heroes can they don't complain. Instead they've taken things into their own hands here's ABC's Bob Woodruff on the men protecting. The American -- It was November 2004. When dale Beatty and his best friend John -- were in Iraq returning from a mission we have monopoly that might prepare the vehicle that was. A last minute. You know hey here tomorrow you're gonna go out on this mission. So let's take a video of us problems -- whatever light trucks -- hated -- particularly put it back in my pocket. Right after that better. The explosion rocked their humvee 200 feet in the air. John suffered a brain injury in back -- dale lost both his legs spent more than a year and Walter Reed hospital recover. When they finally got back to North Carolina dale was struggling to adjust to life at home in. After leaving the hospital where there's. Elevators and ramps and come home to the real world can see that -- got to make some significant changes. In your lifestyle. This house wasn't equipped for a double amputee seeing his -- struggle John felt compelled to help. And so we teamed up with some local builders to construct a new house for dale. Give him the independence. -- -- rightly deserved and come home. It got so much help this community. And such a good feeling for me -- For me and my family we really had the best case scenario. For somebody who had been injured as us. When the work was done -- and John were inspired and decided to dedicate their lives to building in retrofitting homes for disabled veteran. After we came off -- Looking around in our communities we saw that there was there still greater needs. That were -- They started a foundation and called it purple heart home. You know -- which is simply to pay it forward just one bit. Dylan John hope to bring America back to those glorious days after World War II when veterans were cheers and -- by the community. -- understand. It's about community it's about lifting up those that. Have served and sacrificed. And and in that you know we found a way that we can say we belief. They soon discovered that there are. More than 171000. Veterans living in their county alone and every Thursday morning a group gathers here in Richards coffee shop. That's how they met Dave morale and date. Who served three tour is with a special forces in Vietnam. It's it. Bob -- the war cost him a -- This just comes off. They learned the morale was forced to crawl from his bedroom to his bathroom. Because his wheelchair and walker wouldn't fit through the doors -- the VA wouldn't pay to fix it because he is missing only one -- You have to be double. The single amputee the best I can get -- a wheelchair. One ran out. But to actually have the house physically adapted by I don't -- were you outraged by this the people that know. About these guys -- -- -- -- -- I think it was such a shock to it that John and myself there was -- town for outrage. There's -- -- for outrageous point do something about it so they did they knocked down a wall built an addition onto his home. But a brand new bedroom and in an accessible bathroom so Dave -- rule writing formed from a Volkswagen door Caroline -- -- upgrade. -- it and that's what this is it's an upgrade. If it is -- -- there are more than three million American veterans with disabilities connected to their service. Wood -- and John met Vietnam vet Kevin Smith he could barely get in and out of his house. He says he's often felt unappreciated. Because Vietnam was such an unpopular. And the community has woke up and said hey maybe we were wrong. And just sitting there talking to him that first day. This brought tears was that he had never been told welcome home. With the help of a handful of neighbors purple heart homes built him a wooden ramp to help ease his birth. -- good to know that people care about their country. Again. Everyone standing here all now -- the purple heart homes -- so. Take care buddy. -- -- John's foundation is hitting its stride. Last week in Georgia the recruited dozens of volunteers from Wells Fargo to help put the finishing touches on the home of sergeant buddy -- He was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq and 2005. Breaking his back and leaving him paralyzed. He returned to a home not built for a man now restricted to a wheelchair. Analysts complaining about sailors. Hard -- -- here but it's. -- eighty. It was also hard on his two girls my girls in my life. And that they've seen this to trial just pro -- to just that they were non dying -- stuff. Most kids would have to -- To the team work -- widen the doors repaint every wall. And build an outdoor elevator to -- body could get to the backyard. To play with his -- It's really up to us is up to the community to take ownership. For the people who go to fight and police force last week the project was finished dale and John were there to help move the family in. Just in time for the holidays. But they do they own earth. Back you know this is something last forever. All month in defensive back to -- Final. Finally. Just like this. Era volunteers on that we have here today. The community turned out we -- -- -- everyone -- you and and I hope that you go when you share with others. To close the day buddy wheeled out to the front yard to the flight school. And raise the flag he fought to defend. It may not have been part of the plan. But buddy insisted. He should -- There's -- -- -- our community. That deserves to live comfortably and with dignity. In their home than those that have served and sacrificed for our freedom.
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