Happy Veterans Day: Standing Up for Heroes

ABC News pays tribute to growing ranks of veterans.
2:33 | 11/12/11

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Happy Veterans Day: Standing Up for Heroes
Standing up for -- -- there -- 22 million veterans in America their ranks growing from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and today. ABC news has begun a series focusing on challenges they face and the people determined to make a difference in their lives when they come home. Tonight ABC's Bob Woodruff tells us about some unique than -- women and making them whole again. Today we honor the men and women who proudly serve our nation. Veterans day parades are held across the country but none larger than the one here in New York City. -- over 20000 participants and hundreds of thousands cheering them on. But once the music fades -- -- left with some startling numbers from -- to current wars twelve point 1% of veterans unemployed. 20000 homeless more than 47000. Wounded. And for some veterans the injuries are so devastating -- before they can -- they need and made. We first met marine corporal Erin Mencken in 2007. Two years earlier when he was just 23 years old his convoy hit an IED in Iraq setting the vehicle and all fifteen Marines -- side. On fire. He survived but he couldn't look at himself in the -- I was not ready to to see myself. I just stay focused. Walk right out the -- Until the campus. He has come a long way and during nearly sixty facial surgeries in six years. All thanks to operation meant that unique partnership between Brooke Army Medical Center and UCLA. -- more than I ever. Expect ever anticipated. It's -- each surgery can cost up to 500000. Dollars but it's done at no charge to the service members and most need multiple surgeries. Operation -- has helped 53 veterans get their lives back on track. This surgery allows them to -- -- to pay much more normal life. Feel better about themselves that's the best thing -- -- in the months. The rewards are powerful these surgeons are changing lives giving back to those who have sacrificed so much for years ago now. You had difficulty seeing yourself in the -- That changed. Certain I can't get away from here. Bob Woodruff ABC news New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"2:33","description":"ABC News pays tribute to growing ranks of veterans.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/WNT","id":"14936698","title":"Happy Veterans Day: Standing Up for Heroes","url":"/WNT/video/happy-veterans-day-standing-heroes-14936698"}