Monday, May 25, 2009

President Obama nominates Max Cleland to serve as Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission

From The Examiner's Atlanta Political Buzz blog:

The White House confirms Barack Obama nominated Max Cleland of Georgia as Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission.

The American Battle Monuments Commission was established in 1923 to honor the American troops on foreign land.

“The Commission administers, operates and maintains on foreign soil 24 permanent American burial grounds, and 25 separate memorials, monuments and markers, including three memorials in the United States.”

Cleland, 66, is the first Georgian to receive a full-time administration position from the President. As a captain in the U.S. Army, he served in Vietnam where he was wounded in combat. The triple amputee credits politics with pulling him out of despair and depression that overwhelmed him after coming home from war.

“At 28, he became the youngest member of the Georgia State Senate. Picked by President Jimmy Carter to head the Veterans Administration, Cleland created veterans' centers across the country and worked to create the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, a revolution in veterans' health care,” according to

Cleland, a member of the Democratic Party, served as Georgia Secretary of State from 1982 to 1996, was elected to the United States Senate in 1996 and served until 2003. In 2004 he was closely involved with the John Kerry presidential campaign, and most recently supported Barack Obama for president.