History Shall Not Fade Away Thanks to Heath Shuler! Vet's will not be forgotten!
This Thursday, September 28,2006, Heath Shuler & staff will be bringing Max Cleland to Asheville & Franklin! Even though he doesn't remember me, I will never forget the handshake he gave me as a young 24 year old soldier! And I cannot, for once find the proper words to express my gratitude and thanks. He is the ultimate Democrat and the ultimate citizen soldier. I hope you can make one of the events!
bumped. Let's not forget that Max Cleland was portrayed in this way by his Republican opponents.
If the mugging of Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia is a fair indicator of what is to come, the fall elections will be ugly. Cleland, a decorated veteran and triple amputee, was attacked by his Republican opponent, Rep. Saxby Chambliss, "for breaking his oath to protect and defend the Constitution."
Shades of Lee Atwater, the fabled Republican cutthroat politico who helped pilot the first President Bush to victory. But even Atwater might have hesitated before going after a man who lost both legs and an arm in the service of his country. Chambliss did not participate in Vietnam. He had a bad knee
Joseph Maxwell Cleland (born August 24, 1942) is an American politician from Georgia. Cleland, a Democrat, is a former U.S. Senator, disabled US Army veteran of the Vietnam War, and a critic of the Bush Administration. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a presidentially appointed position.
Cleland served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, attaining the rank of Captain. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for valorous action in combat, including during the Battle of Khe Sanh on April 4th, 1968.
On April 8, 1968. Captain Cleland was the Battalion Signal Officer for the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavarly Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during the Battle of Khe Sanh. During the battle, in which the Battalion was attempting to relieve besieged Marines defending the Khe Sanh Firebase, Cleland was ordered to erect a communications antenna on a nearby mountain top. Cleland's group was dropped off by helicopter and Cleland was severely wounded when he attempted to pick up a grenade he thought he had dropped upon disembarking. He lost both legs and part of one arm due to injuries when the grenade exploded.
Cleland served from 1971 to 1975 in the Georgia Senate, and became an advocate for affairs relating to veterans. He was the administrator of the United States Veterans Administration under President Jimmy Carter, a fellow Georgian, from 1977 to 1981. He then served 14 years as Secretary of State of Georgia from 1982 to 1996, working closely with his future Senate colleague, Zell Miller. Cleland ran for and was elected to the United States Senate in 1996. The Democratic nomination became available because of the retirement of Sam Nunn. He was defeated while running for a second term in 2002 by Representative Saxby Chambliss. Voters were perhaps influenced by Chambliss ads which featured Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, ads that Cleland's supporters claim questioned his patriotism.
Cleland was originally appointed to serve on the 9/11 Commission but resigned shortly after, claiming that the Bush administration was "stonewalling" and blocking the committee's access to key documents and witnesses. During his time away from politics, Cleland taught at American University.
In 2003, Cleland began working for the presidential campaign of Massachusetts senator (and fellow Vietnam veteran) John Kerry, who later won the Democratic nomination. Cleland often appeared at campaign events with Kerry, and was considered by many to be one of his most important assistants, partly as a symbol of the sacrifices made by soldiers for wars. He went to Bush's Texas ranch to deliver a swift boat ad complaint, but the event failed to have much impact. On July 29, 2004, Cleland introduced Kerry with a speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Cleland is author of the books Strong at the Broken Places and Going for the Max!: 12 Principles for Living Life to the Fullest. He holds a B.A. in English from Stetson University and a Masters degree in American History from Emory University. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from both institutions and is a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.