Small Wars Journal

Bob Dole’s Final Mission

Bob Dole’s Final Mission by Steve Hendrix – Washington Post

… There, from a handicapped parking spot, he eases into the wheelchair as the greetings begin - “Oh my gosh, Bob Dole!”- finally rolling into his place in the shade just outside the main entrance to the National World War II Memorial.

And then they come, bus after bus, wheelchair after wheelchair, battalions of his bent brothers, stooped with years but steeped in pride, veterans coming to see their country’s monument to their sacrifice and to be welcomed by of one of their country’s icons.

“Good to see you. Where you from?” Dole says, over and over, as they roll close, sometimes one on each side. New York, Tennessee, Nevada, the old roll-call once again. “Let’s get a picture.” “Thank you for your service.” “What about your service?” “How old are you?” “I’m 90.” “I’m 94.” “Where you from?” “Good to see you.”

He’ll do it for more than three hours on this muggy day, more than six hours on others, staying until the last veteran has gone on by to see the grand columns and fountains behind him. They pump his left hand — the one with some numb feeling left — and squeeze his shoulders, and sometimes he gets home not just tired but gently battered by humanity and humidity alike…

Read on.