Veteran Bob Dole, 95, Rises From Wheelchair to Salute Bush 41 at Capitol Rotunda

Michael W. Chapman | December 4, 2018 | 3:39pm EST
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Sen. Bob Dole, Dec. 4, 2018.
(Getty Image)

( -- Republican Senator Bob Dole (Kansas), who served in Congress for 35 years and is a World War II veteran, slowly rose from his wheelchair -- with some assistance by a security officer -- to stand and salute the flag-draped casket holding former President George H.W. Bush, who died on Nov. 30 and whose coffin is set in the Capitol Rotunda for people to view and pay their respects. 

Dole is 95 and has had several health problems since 2001. He retired from the U.S. Senate in June 1996. He first won election to the U.S. House of Represenatives in 1960 and he won a Senate seat in 1968. Dole was the Senate Majority Leader in 1985-87 and in 1995-96.  He was the Senate Minority Leader in 1987-95. 

Bob Dole joined the U.S. Army in 1942, when he was 19. He became a second lieutenant in the Army's 10th Mountian Division. Dole was badly wounded by German machine gun fire in April 1945; at the time, his fellow soldiers did not think he would survive. For his sacrifice, Dole was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. 

George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States (1989-1993) and the vice president to Ronald Reagan (1981-1989), was a World War II veteran like Dole. Bush served in the U.S. Navy (1942-45) as an aviator and earned the rank of lieutenant.

In August 1944, his plane was crippled by Japanese artillery and Bush and one other man bailed out over the ocean. The other man's parachute did not open. Bush drifted in a small, inflatable raft for several hours and was then rescued by the submarine USS Finback. 

Bush ended up flying a total 58 combat missions. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and a Presidential Unit Citation. 

Former President George H.W. Bush  (June 12, 1924 - Nov. 30, 2018).
(Getty Images)
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