VoteVets Statement on the Passing of former Senator Max Cleland

Washington, DC — The following is the statement of VoteVets Chairman, and Iraq War veteran, Jon Soltz:

"It is almost poetic that Max Cleland has left us right around Veterans Day, because Max was a Veteran's Veteran.

Max Cleland was an American hero, and what he endured was unimaginable. He lost his limbs in service in Vietnam at the age of 25. He quickly continued serving - eventually leading the Veterans Administration, where he was a fierce and tireless advocate for his fellow veterans with medical and other needs.

Max continued to advocate for veterans, and Georgia, as a Senator and after he lost reelection. Max could have been bitter, after Republicans launched a disgusting smear campaign against him that was a precursor of the ugly politics we see today. But Max endured, kept smiling, and kept advocating for us.

He was a dear friend of mine, personally, and of VoteVets. Nobody helped me more when I returned from Iraq in 2003 than Max Cleland. He was the motivation and inspiration for VoteVets both because of what he stood for, but also because of what he endured. He is a huge reason we have been able to elect a large number of veterans to public office.

Rest in Peace, Max. We are better for having known you."