A late-day but heartfelt tribute – Veteran’s Day

Max Cleland is someone I’ve admired for a long time.  Consequently, as interesting as I found the Kos report on the Georgia run-off for his former Senate seat, I’ve just pulled this excerpt to post. I suppose it’s my way of saying that nothing should distract from our appreciation of those who defend our freedom, particular those who fight unpopular wars on our behalf.

On April 8, 1968, during the battle of Khe Sanh, Captain Joseph Maxwell Cleland was severely injured by a fellow soldier’s grenade, so severely that he would lose both of his legs below the knee, as well as his right forearm.

It takes a special kind of person to recover from such a tragedy, but Max Cleland is just that kind of person. Rather than letting his injuries hold him back in life, Cleland went home to Georgia and continued to devote his life to public service. He was elected to the Georgia Senate in 1971, and subsequently served as Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs (the precursor to VA Secretary) in the Carter Administration. Upon Carter’s defeat, Cleland won election as Secretary of State of Georgia, and in 1996 – nearly 30 years after the ordeal which nearly ended his life and left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his days – Max Cleland was elected to represent the state of Georgia in the United States Senate.

His life of sacrifice and service reminds us of our obligation to be deserving of such. Say thank you whenever you have the opportunity to do something for the family of someone on active duty – and, if you can find an opportunity, create one.