Former Senate Republican leader and presidential candidate Bob Dole turns 95 Sunday. He remains an example to our country and to the world.
In a political climate driven by an obsession with airtime and winning the next election, we should remind ourselves of a man whose mission was, and still is, to make a positive difference in a person’s life every day.
He was a hero on the battlefield in World War II, gravely wounded and suffering permanent disabling injuries while fighting for the nation he loved. He was a skilled lawmaker responsible for the passage of a great deal of important legislation, including shepherding the legislative agendas of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush through the Senate.
And long after he left elective office, Bob Dole continued to be a dedicated supporter of military veterans. Ho served as national chairman of the World War II Memorial campaign, raising funds to build the memorial in Washington. He also led the fundraising campaign for the Eisenhower Memorial in the nation’s capital.
For decades, Dole has proven that public service can truly be a noble, selfless, lifelong calling.
From my time growing up in Beloit, Kansas, Dole has been my hero. He was the giant from the Plains – the soldier from Russell – who gave us a voice at the highest levels of our government.
For the past five years, after I was a student at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, I have been proud to call this great man – 71 years my senior – a friend and guide.
Through his ceaseless determination and optimism, Bob Dole continues to be a role model to me and to so many – showing us how to give back, and how to never quit working for what is right.