WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the passing of former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and World War II Army veteran Robert Joseph “Bob” Dole (R-KS):

“As a soldier, statesman, and an advocate for veterans and people with disabilities, Bob Dole defined the very best of what it means to be a public servant. 

“It was an honor to work with him over the years on a variety of issues, like the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“Over the last several years, I was fortunate to get to spend several Saturdays a year with Senator Dole.  He made it his mission to greet fellow World War II veterans in Washington, DC when they came to visit the World War II Memorial, a memorial that Senator Dole helped make a reality.  When Rhode Island veterans would come to Washington on Honor Flights, one of their true highlights was seeing Senator Dole.  He was there to confer respect and honor upon others, and it was truly a privilege to be there at his side and see veterans and caregivers alike light up and connect with him.  Senator Dole was both a great listener and storyteller and he always made sure our veterans knew: This is their memorial.  It belongs to them.  He was frequently joined on those Saturdays by his wife, and my good friend, Senator Elizabeth Dole, who is also such a wonderful champion for America’s veterans.

“Another Washington monument that Senator Dole supported – the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial – bears his quote: “…It’s faith that gives you the strength to endure – faith that won’t allow you to give up; faith that manifests itself in a ferocious determination to take the next step – the one that everyone else says is impossible.”  I have faith that Congress can once again follow Bob Dole’s example and work together to make our nation stronger. 

“I offer my heartfelt condolences to Senator Elizabeth Dole.  She is a force in her own right, and I’ve been honored to work with her to support and empower military caregivers who care for their loved ones, much in the way that she has lovingly cared for her husband and partner.  Our hearts go out to the entire Dole family, and Bob’s many friends.”