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LAVs now memorials to Canadians who served in Afghanistan

Members of the Canadian Forces and the public take part in the official unveiling of the Highway of Heroes Durham LAV Monument in Bowmanville, Ont. on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

J.P. Moczulski/The Globe and Mail

Two decommissioned light armoured vehicles have been given new resting places in Ontario as memorials to Canadians who served in the Afghanistan War. The gutted machines were unveiled in Trenton and Bowmanville on Saturday.

Canada Company, a countrywide military charity, helped organize the new memorials.

"It is a thank-you that cannot be denied, a thank-you from the community to the veterans," said Shawn Deane, project manager of the LAV III monument program. "It will draw people to learn and reflect on our latest legacy in our military history."

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The monuments are community-funded and cost $17,500 each. A bronze plaque on each one will "commemorate the 40,000 who served and the 162 who lost their lives, including four civilians," Mr. Deane said. The vehicles were designed by General Dynamics Land Systems Canada.

"They were safe havens for the soldiers, often a home away from home for them while they were on their tours of duty."

Communities interested in securing a repurposed, government-donated LAV III must submit an application and qualify, Mr. Deane said.

When asked whether the machines of war could be triggers to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Mr. Deane said many people feel this is an important tribute.

"People that I've talked to that suffer from PTSD think this is a great conversation piece to help the healing process," he said. "It's the start of the healing process for some."

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