Max Cleland Dies; Senator And Veteran Lost Limbs In Vietnam

FILE - Former Georgia Senator Max Cleland salutes delegates before introducing Sen. John Kerry at the Democratic National Convention Thursday, July 29, 2004 at the Fleet Center in Boston, Mass. Cleland, who lost three limbs to a Vietnam War hand grenade blast yet went on to serve as a U.S. senator from Georgia, died on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. He was 79. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke, file)

(AP) — Former U.S. Senator Max Cleland has died. Cleland lost his right arm and both legs to a hand grenade in Vietnam, and then suffered inadequate medical care.

So fellow veterans cheered when President Jimmy Carter appointed him to run the Veterans Administration, where he pushed to get official medical recognition for post-traumatic stress disorder, an injury previously dismissed by the military as “shell shock.”

Cleland represented Georgia in the Senate until an attack ad questioning his patriotism derailed his reelection. The loss triggered his own PTSD, but he recovered to serve the nation in other positions. Cleland’s assistant says he died of congestive heart failure. He was 79.


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