PROVIDENCE, RI -- Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement on the passing of former U.S. Senator Max Cleland (D-GA):

“You have to be an extraordinary person to write a book called Going for the Max! 12 Principles for Living Life to the Fullest.  Max was indeed an extraordinary gentleman and statesman.  A man of uncommon courage and decency, he also wrote the aptly titled Heart of a Patriot too.

“In 1968, Max volunteered for combat duty at a time when many others were seeking to avoid military service.  After he lost several limbs to a grenade accident in Vietnam, he continued to serve in so many ways.  As Georgia Secretary of State, head of the U.S. Veterans Administration, U.S. Senator, and many other remarkable roles, Max always remained good-natured and down to Earth.  He was a champion for the people of Georgia and working families everywhere.

“I will always look up to Max Cleland.  And while we mourn him today, we celebrate his life, and will continue to mark April 8 as his “Alive Day.”  Because although a grenade took Max’s arm and legs that fateful day, it couldn’t diminish his big-hearted passion for service or prevent him from making a positive impact on so many lives.  

“Throughout his career, Max Cleland worked hard to make the world a better place and make it more accessible to people with disabilities.  He was also a forward-looking leader when it came to helping veterans with mental health and treating the invisible wounds of war.  We are grateful to Max for his many contributions and salute him for living life to the fullest.”