COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Fort Benning and the National Infantry Museum, both national treasures right here where we live, were visited last week by another national treasure, former presidential candidate, and one-time army second Lieutenant Bob Dole.
Bob Dole is 93-years-old now, but in 1944, Dole graduated from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning.
A year later, Dole was in the thick of World War II facing the Germans in Italy, when he risked his life to save a fellow soldier.
As he rushed to help, Dole was wounded by machine gun fire.
The damage caused his right arm and hand to be permanently paralyzed.
He was awarded the bronze star for valor.
His injuries cut short his military career, but Dole wasn’t going to let his disabilities stop him from being successful.
He found that success in politics and the law.
Visiting Fort Benning and the National Infantry Museum are just the latest highlights of his still remarkable life.
Dole ran as the Republican Presidential Candidate against incumbent Bill Clinton in 1996.
He lost of course.
The economy was on a roll then, and voters didn’t think Dole offered enough reason to change horses at the time.
Bob Dole is actually the only person in history to have been a nominee for both Vice President and President but who was never elected to either office.
When dole ran against Clinton, opponents said he was “too old” to be president.
But here he is, still here, still a symbol of the greatest generation of world war two veterans who continue to contribute to society even as their numbers dwindle with the passing of time.
Bob Dole has always been an outspoken advocate for the disabled and he continues that work today.
At Fort Benning, Dole paid tribute to all the soldiers who are on the front lines today.
Bob Dole is someone who knows all too well the sacrifices our military members make and what it really means to be a soldier.
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