Max Cleland, Veteran RIP

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Max Cleland, Veteran RIP

Post by koimaster » November 9th 2021, 10:53pm

Joseph "Max" Cleland, a Vietnam War veteran and former leader of the Veterans Administration whose political career spanned more than four decades, died Tuesday from congestive heart failure at his home in Atlanta, his personal assistant Linda Dean told CNN. He was 79.

He joined the US Army in 1965 and while on duty during the Vietnam War, he lost two legs and part of an arm after a grenade exploded. He was awarded the Bronze Star with "V" device, the Silver Star and the Soldier's Medal, according to a post from the Department of Veteran Affairs.

RIP Soldier.


“Your heart was warm and happy

With the lilt of Irish laughter

Every day and in every way

Now forever and ever after."
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Re: Max Cleland, Veteran RIP

Post by conjurer » November 9th 2021, 11:41pm

On April 8, 1968, Captain Cleland was the Battalion Signal Officer for the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during the Battle of Khe Sanh.[6]

On April 8, with a month left in his tour, Cleland was ordered to set up a radio relay station on a nearby hill. A helicopter flew him and two soldiers to the treeless top of Hill 471, east of Khe Sanh. Cleland knew some of the soldiers camped there from Operation Pegasus. He told the pilot he was going to stay a while with friends.

When the helicopter landed, Cleland jumped out, followed by the two soldiers. They ducked because of the rotor wash and turned to watch the liftoff. Cleland reached down to pick up a grenade that he believed had fallen off of his flak jacket. It exploded and the blast slammed him backward, shredding both his legs and one arm.[5]

David Lloyd, a Marine in a nearby mortar bunker, rushed to the scene, took off his web belt and tied it around one of Cleland's legs to control bleeding.[7]

Lloyd says that the unnamed soldier was crying. "It was mine," he said, "it was my grenade." According to Lloyd, the private had failed to take the extra precaution that experienced soldiers did when they grabbed M26 grenades from the ammo box: bend the pins, or tape them in place, so they couldn't accidentally dislodge. This soldier had a flak jacket full of grenades with treacherously straight pins, Lloyd says. "He was a walking death trap."[8]

Due to the severity of his wounds, doctors amputated both of Cleland's legs above the knee, and his right forearm. He was 25 years old.[9]

This time, truthful. RIP.
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