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June 06, 2016

Remembering Bob Dole....

REMEMBERING BOB DOLE IN BATTLE CREEK

Now at aged 93, Bob Dole is the last of the three WWII war heroes still living, whose names grace the elegant facade of the historical Federal Center in Battle Creek, Michigan.

As a young Vietnam vet and adult in hometowbobdoleoldUSE.jpgn Kansas City, I volunteered on Dole's US Senate campaign in 1975.

Many years later, I was then honored to have opportunity to pick him up at the Kalamazoo airport for a Battle Creek speaking engagement.

We talked about that early Senate campaign, but more about the 3 1/2 years he spent in the Battle Creek Army Hospital during WWII, recovering from devastating battle wounds incurred when he tried to rescue an Army buddy against withering machine gun fire in Italy while a U.S. combat infantry officer.

He would forever more carry a pen in his paralyzed right arm and hand, remnants of his war wounds.

I tried to politely ask questions about his years recuperating from injuries and while in Battle Creek. He was not expected to survive. But did, and met his first wife, an occupational therapist at the hospital.

Always ready with a wide, engaging smile and light chuckle, Dole recalled walking downtown Battle Creek, and sitting quietly in a wheelchair in McCamly Park.

In our crazy, topsy turvy US political climate today, I try to remember those who were so different, and gave so more to this wonderful country of ours.

Thank you Bob Dole. Battle Creek remembers.

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