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Remembering those who served the nation

As we head into the Fourth of July three-day weekend, it’s a good time to pause and reflect not only on the values of the nation, but also some of its achievements and leaders. Widely considered one of the greatest presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt helped lead the country out of the Great Depression and through the years-long, monumental effort and sacrifice required to emerge triumphant in World War II.

It’s worth remembering that FDR did all this while dealing with a disability; he had contracted polio in the 1920s. His struggles with the effects of the disease have been well-documented. It’s believed by many historians that his determination to fight the effects of infantile paralysis, as polio is also known, was evidence of the character traits the nation later needed after Pearl Harbor.

There have been other men who aspired to occupy the Oval Office once inhabited by FDR who also needed strong wills to deal with physical disabilities, including the late Congressman Mo Udall of Arizona, who lost sight in one eye in childhood. Another presidential candidate was the late governor of Alabama, George Wallace, who was paralyzed from the waist down by a bullet from a would-be assassin. Former Kansas Senator Bob Dole was the Republican Party’s nominee in 1996; Dole had lost most use of an arm as the result of an injury sustained in World War II.

Think, too, of U.S. Senators who lost limbs fighting in the U.S. military: former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerry, the late Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye and former Georgia Senator Max Cleland.

Many of these men were champions of Social Security Disability, equipped as they were with an understanding of how easily a person can be forced to combat physical setbacks not of their own making. For people forced out of work by injury or illness, SSDI offers a financial lifeline. If your application for needed aid is denied, be aware that you are allowed by law to appeal with the assistance of an attorney.  

Source: Source: Rocklin and Roseville Today, “Many U.S. Politicians have had Disabilities,” Daniel J. Vance, July 2, 2014

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