Remembering Bob Dole

Part II: From Mt. Oread to Hill 913

At the end of the summer, Dole headed for Lawrence and the University of Kansas. One of his co-workers on the pipeline had been Milton "Mitt" Allen, son of the KU basketball coach, and with the help of that association Dole had the promise of what, in Phog Allen's terms, amounted to a basketball scholarship. It was actually provided by the National Youth Association, according to a football teammate, Harlan Altman Jr. of Wellington, and it paid Dole 40 or 50 cents an hour to do such things as hand out towels to students in gym classes.

For the first time in his life, Dole lived amid wooded, hilly surroundings. Though "Mount" Oread, the setting of the KU campus, looks down from less than 200 feet above the town, you would have to climb one of the grain elevators in Russell for a view of that scope. And then you would not see much but flat brown fields except to the south, where the surprising undulations of the Smoky Hills make a tumbled blue mass against the horizon.

How much the softer scenes and broadened perspectives of KU life may have influenced Dole's outlook, no one can well say. He kept in touch with Russell, going home for holidays, sometimes taking a male friend or two. He had a few dates with Peggy Lee Beck during his KU days.

One thing he didn't lose was his streak of mischievousness. He lived in the Kappa Sigma house on a hill just north of Mount Oread, waiting tables for $12.50 a month plus free food. As pledges, he and the others short-sheeted active members' beds and put crackers in them. They got paddled by the actives for all kinds of real and imagined breaches of the rules.

Faith Dumler's husband, Harold, was one of the actives. He says that if Dole is elected in November, he's looking forward to being able to say, "I paddled the president's butt."

Before pledging, according to Dumler, Dole told the actives, "I've heard so damn much about these paddles" - presumably the swearword is Dumler's addition -"I'd like to see what one's like." The actives obliged.

Dole came up with a prank to get even with his pledge master, Richard Hobson of Springfield, Ill., for his hazing ways. Hobson had a third-floor room in the frat house. He also had a 1937 Harley-Davidson motorcycle that weighed just under 600 pounds.

One night when he went up to his room, Hobson found the motorcycle in it. Hmm. How to get it back downstairs?

An idea came to him.

"I thought it only proper that I should take it out in the hall and rev it up," Hobson said.

The motorcycle was rigged to make an especially reverberant roar. "I had all sorts of volunteers to carry it down to the ground floor," Hobson said. Then the paddle came into play.

Academically, Dole had embarked on a pre-med program. These days, if a Dole audience includes James Roderick of Salina, a retired urologist who was a classmate and basketball teammate, Dole will declare that Roderick helped him get through a required German course. Roderick says that wasn't the case at all.

Still, by his own account, Dole did just C work at KU. In the fall of 1941, when he started, the draft was going full blast, and he spent a lot of time at parties for students leaving for military service. Also, he delivered milk on a route in town early on Saturday mornings. Probably the jobs, partying, dating and sports left him about as much time and energy for studies as he had had in Russell - and he was not the first college freshman to find that a B's worth of studying in high school is no more than a C's worth in college.

He was a long way from being swept up in that rush of ambition that hit him like a Kansas flash flood a few years later. And though his great energies for almost a half-century now have been focused on political advancement, campus politics seems not to have attracted him at KU any more than it had at Russell High. He didn't run for office, didn't even go out for debate.

But his switch in direction, when it came, answered to a need imposed by an enemy shell. At KU in the fall of 1941, before Pearl Harbor, enemy shells still seemed remote threats to a young athlete from small-town Kansas.

As in Russell, Dole went out for three sports. After a week of practice, he and his fellow Kappa Sig pledge, Bud Smith of Russell, were listed in the University Daily Kansan as among the six ends who showed promise, though the paper spelled Dole's name "Dale." Dole's weight was given as 175 pounds. In mid-November, Dole and Smith were named as among the four best ends.

The following spring, the Lawrence Daily Journal-World reported that in the frosh-varsity football game, the passing of a certain back "and the pass-receiving ability of Bob Dole, freshman from Russell, were impressive."

That was about the extent of Dole's football glory at KU. He went out for the varsity in the fall of 1942, and though he lettered, he seldom, if ever, got into a game, judging by rosters that ran occasionally in the campus and Lawrence papers.

In freshman basketball, Dole impressed teammates as a hardworking and reliable guard, but the judgment had to be partly guesswork.

"We didn't play anybody," said Bill Forsyth of Medicine Lodge, a teammate. "We just practiced. We joked and we had a pretty good time."

Though it had been 55 years, Forsyth recalled Dole's basketball style with clarity:

"He could fake and dribble around you. You had to be careful. He was fast, he was tough. He played football, too, I know, in high school, and if he got knocked around, it didn't bother him. He'd plow right through you. He reminded me sometimes of a fullback on the basketball court."

Another teammate, John Buescher of Midland, Mich., remembered Dole this way:

"A very handsome young man. The best-looking of all the athletes on the basketball team. Extremely well-built, rather thin ankles and tapered quite well from the waist through the shoulders. I mean, he looked like almost a perfect specimen."

In track, Dole again chose the 440-yard dash. It's a race that requires the runner to sprint almost all-out for something approaching a minute - and in fact, Dole's times approached a minute pretty closely. Though from somewhere a legend has started that he nearly broke an indoor record in his event, Dole said with a tone of dismissal that he was "not sure that's accurate." If it is accurate, the record has to have been a trifling one. As Dole said, his times stayed somewhere around 52 seconds, maybe a little faster. Even in those days, good high school quarter-milers did better. The draft was cutting into the ranks of college runners.

Still, Dole lettered in track, and in April 1943, when he was a sophomore, he won the 440 in 52.2 seconds in a dual meet at Baker University. He was second in the 220 and ran the anchor leg on the winning 880-yard relay team.

By that time, the United States had been at war for 16 months. Our troops and planes were fighting in or above North Africa, Germany and the South Pacific. Athletes and fellow students on all sides of Bob Dole had enlisted or been drafted.

Dole's attitude toward signing up for military service suggests something less than all-out eagerness to rush to war. In his book he observes that not many young men of sound body and "conventional patriotism" were likely to escape the draft. The next sentence says he signed up for the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps.

"That's what everybody on campus advised us to do," said Roderick, who also accepted the advice.

The reserve corps at that time offered students some chance of finishing school before being called to active service. Dole could hope at least to finish the current school year, meanwhile getting in another season of basketball and track.

He does seem to have looked on the prospect of military service with curiosity and a desire for adventure. He observes that December 1942, when he signed up, was 25 years after his father had joined the Army "in hopes of seeing the world," and he says that at 19, he was "eager to look life in the face."

It turned out that he got in one more season of sports and dates at KU, and that was all. He signed up on Dec. 15 and was called to duty on June 1, 1943.

In his review of those days, the claim Dole doesn't make in his book is one that would tempt most politicians with his war record: that he signed up because he wanted to do his patriotic duty, to serve his country. Many young men joined the service for that reason in those days. Many others did all they could to stay out. And many, apparently including Bob Dole, made the most of the inevitable, trying to stretch out their civilian status at least a little longer.

Dole had a special reason to want to stay in school. At the Homecoming beauty contest, he had been smitten at the first sight of one of the entrants, a slender, blue-eyed brunette named Grace McCandless, and he arranged to be introduced to her. She was from Hutchinson and was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.

They met in the winter of Dole's sophomore year and dated until he was called up. In the spring he gave her his fraternity pin. They considered themselves engaged. He spent a week with her parents in Hutchinson, and after school was out in the spring she spent a week with his parents in Russell. She found them "just lovely Kansas people," she said recently, talking from the Arizona mountain resort where she and her husband, David West, spend summers to get away from the heat of their home in Scottsdale, Ariz.

On dates, they would walk into Lawrence for a movie and walk back to their houses. They never had dinner out - both ate in their fraternity or sorority houses. They went to fraternal social events, including dances.

Even when Dole was in the middle of a track workout he found a way to see his girlfriend at the bottom of Mount Oread. "He would just run down in his track clothes," she said, "and got his exercise that way."

He wasn't allowed to go upstairs where Grace's room was, she said, but would check in at the desk downstairs.

"Whoever was on telephone duty would call me, upstairs, and say, 'Your Greek god is here,' " she said.

She said Dole's humor in those days kept everybody in stitches. "It would just roll out," she said. "It wasn't a contrived thing. It was just natural with him."

The two broke up during the summer after he had gone into the service. A naval air station was close by the university, and he had told her it was OK to date while he was gone. When she found the man who later became her first husband, that was the end of the romance. She and Dole have stayed friends, she said, and she is a strong supporter of his politically.

Called to duty at Fort Leavenworth, Dole took basic training at Camp Barkeley, Texas, trained for the Medical Corps awhile and then was sent to New York to study engineering at Brooklyn College. There, he says in his book, he found the unfamiliar mix of ethnic backgrounds to be glamorous.

Later, he trained as an anti-tank gunner at Camp Breckenridge, Ky., and went to officer candidate school at Fort Benning, Ga., graduating as a second lieutenant in November 1944.

He had seen a good-sized sample of American terrain and climates for a young man who two years before had never gone east of Kansas City.

More new scenes were coming. In December he shipped out to a replacement depot near Rome and waited to be sent to the front in place of some officer who had been captured, killed or wounded. The call came in a couple of months.

Going in to replace a wounded lieutenant, the young officer from a flat town in Kansas found himself in the midst of the rocky Apennines, thrown into service as a platoon leader in an outfit famous for its expert skiers and daring rock climbers: the Tenth Mountain Division. Nearly all the men he commanded had trained at Camp Hale, near Leadville, Colo., where they were forbidden to go into the barracks at night but slept in the snow and sub-zero cold in their sleeping bags.

Unversed in that style of hardship, Dole got a quick introduction to the current, grim style of his men's lives.

Tony Sileo of Bristol, Conn., then the company clerk for I Company, Third Battalion, shared the introductory moment with Dole. After walking the mile or so to battalion headquarters, which was not in a building but in an open field, Sileo met the new lieutenant and one other, Leonard Bugbee - from where, Sileo doesn't know.

"Fresh-looking, good-looking young lieutenants," he found the two. And he thought of all the casualties in the company, especially among the young lieutenants.

"I thought, 'My God, here are two more sheep for slaughter,' " he said.

Sileo led them cross-country through the woods toward their platoons. At the time, American artillery shells often fell short of the entrenched Germans across the valley and landed among our troops.

"So on our way up to our position at the front lines, I could hear the whining of a shell coming from behind me," Sileo said. "After you're there for a while, you can distinguish between the whine of a German shell and an American shell."

Sileo told the two to hit the ground, or maybe he shoved them down - he doesn't remember, after 51 years.

"And the shell hit up in front of us" - it might have been 5 feet away or might have been 20, he said -"and dirt went flying all over. And one of them piped up - I don't remember whether it was Bob or Lieutenant Bugbee - and said, 'My God, those Germans are coming awfully close.'

"And I said, 'That was not a German shell, it was one of ours,' and one of them said, 'My God, what kind of war are you fighting here?'"

Sileo didn't remember which of the new officers made that remark, either, but no doubt the words expressed what both were feeling.

Another shell fell close by when the two were talking with the commander of Company I, Capt. Jerry Bucher of Corning, N.Y. It landed in the command post of an adjacent company, wounding several men and perhaps killing others.

Sileo glanced at the new officers, curious about their reactions, and saw "a little bit of anxiety, I'd say."

The scene around Dole looked as unreal as if the movie tornado of a few years before had plucked him out of Kansas and set him down in some rocky Oz whose inhabitants lived in shallow holes, devoting their efforts to killing and mangling each other. The land rose in rock-walled man-made terraces, and villages with as few as a half-dozen rock houses stood amid the dairy farms, potato fields and chestnut groves like passive spectators as the fight raged between alien Americans and British on the south and alien Germans on the north.

Some of the residents went right on with their lives, the housewives sewing and cleaning as machine gun bullets buzzed past and soldiers' lower halves were blown away by German land mines that had sprouted in the ground like a bumper crop of potatoes. Outdoor work went on, too.

"We could see the farmers out there in their fields cutting hay or maybe feeding cattle or something, when they were right between us and the Germans," said O. James Barr, a Denver accountant who as a first lieutenant in a hilltop observation post had a view of everything that went on.

Many of the people had fled to the homes of relatives in quieter regions. The locale was 30 miles southwest of Bologna. The nearest sizable village, Castel d'Aiano, with probably 4,000 residents before the fighting started, lay a hundred yards or so to the west or northwest of the place where Company I had taken a defensive position, waiting for orders. Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator, had been overthrown in July 1943, since then returning to a position of scarcely more than symbolic power under German control in northern Italy. Allied troops were grinding northward the length of Italy to drive out the German soldiers who had made the country theirs to defend.

As a young officer yet to see combat - except for those two nearby shell bursts - and sharing none of his men's proud memories of what amounted to survival training at Camp Hale, Dole was in a tough position. He was supposed to lead 50 experienced mountain soldiers who, before holing up in the woods where he joined them, had gone through fierce fighting at Monte Belvedere, a 3,700-foot mountain that 5th Army units had tried three times to take before two regiments of mountain troops finally took it for good.

Combat veterans could tell at a glance that Dole hadn't done what they had done. His almost obsessive neatness - he had his trousers tucked straight into his boots - helped mark him out.

"He looked like he was fresh from school, nice and clean," said Al Nencioni of Fairfax, Va., who was the sergeant in charge of the company's three 60-millimeter mortars, one for each platoon. "We bowed our pants over our combat boots and wore our hats different." (A photo of the platoon, taken probably a few weeks after Dole had arrived, shows a rakish angle to a lot of the steel helmets, all right. But Dole, sitting or kneeling at one side, has his helmet off and his thick, dark hair combed with its usual neatness.)

What if Dole had barged in like other young shavetails and started throwing orders at such a platoon? His personality, or one side of it, might have induced him to do that. He had been his brother and sisters' overseer, pretty much, and the incident when he took over the high school history class showed that he didn't mind using power.

But another side of Dole, it appears, was a willingness to confer, to listen to other people. He had taken his siblings' advice about confessing to the fender-bender in Russell, hadn't he? It was that side of his character that his assignment at the front brought out.

"He was very willing to share thoughts with all of us," said Devereaux Jennings of Waterville Valley, N. H., a staff sergeant in Dole's platoon, who competed in the 1948 Winter Olympics as a skier and is in the U. S. Ski Hall of Fame. "He would listen and ask, and he was a good communicator, which was not always the case with the replacement officers."

Once, Jennings said, Dole's 2nd Platoon was ordered to replace some troops that had dug in on top of a wooded ridge. Those troops had suffered heavy losses from tree bursts - shells that hit branches and showered fragments into the foxholes. Jennings and Staff Sgt. Stanley Kuschick of New York looked over the situation, and Kuschick suggested to Dole that instead of simply changing places with the dug-in troops and exposing themselves to the same deadly fragments, they send outposts to the far side of the ridge, keeping the main body of men in a protected position below the summit on the near side. If a counterattack came, the outposts would give the word by phone and the reserve troops would move up.

The new shavetail took the advice, and the losses stopped. "It was an example of doing some thinking," Jennings said. A counterattack never came.

During the month and a half before the attack in which Dole was wounded, he went on several patrols, as all lieutenants in the company did, trying to capture German soldiers for interrogation or to locate enemy artillery pieces and machine guns for future reference. The patrolling was "always at night, really a spooky thing," said Nencioni, the mortar section sergeant.

Waiting for major action, Dole found time to write letters to his parents and siblings, using lightweight, one-piece V-mail envelopes. "Tell Mom I'm out of cookies," he asked Norma Jean.

April 12 was the day when the 3rd Battalion, which included Dole's company and platoon, was to attack Hill 913, pronounced "Nine-Thirteen" and named for its height in meters - the equivalent of about 2,995 feet above sea level. It rose from the north edge of an east-west valley called Pra del Bianco. The height from base to summit was about 700 feet. The hill started rising about 1,100 yards north and a couple of hundred yards east of Castel d'Aiano.

On the day before the attack was scheduled, Dole, the thoroughgoing teacher and thoughtful leader, took some of his men to an overlook and, with a map of the enemy positions in hand, "showed us exactly what we were going to do and where we would be, and pointed out all the terrain," Jennings said. The advance would be northward, across a stretch of ground in which the landscape of Dole's life would be altered almost beyond recognition.

But on the assigned day the clouds were too heavy for airplanes to bomb and strafe the hillside ahead of the ground troops. And conditions stayed the same the next day.

Finally the weather cleared. On April 14, Dole's 50-man platoon and the rest of the battalion were poised a quarter-mile south of the Pra del Bianco. North of them - whether 50 feet or 400 yards depends on which old soldier's memory you rely on - was a rock retaining wall, about 4 feet high. Later it provided shelter to soldiers who ducked low to run along behind it and confer with others while bullets zinged overhead.

Four P-47 Thunderbolt fighters roared across the Pra del Bianco that morning and dropped 500-pound bombs on the rocky side of Hill Nine-Thirteen. They turned around for another swing, this time firing rockets and .50-caliber machine guns into the slope.

"Then," Nencioni said, "the 5th Army artillery fired for about 15 minutes, and you couldn't even see the mountain because of the dust. I thought, 'Finally, this is not going to be too hard.' Because not many could have lived through that thing."

When the artillery stopped, the ground troops ran forward. They found plenty of enemy soldiers alive.

"They must have been hiding in bunkers around on the other side of the mountain, or something," Nencioni said, "because when we got there, there they were."

German soldiers, their gray-green uniforms blending perfectly with the rocks, fired rifles, machine guns and mortars at the advancing troops, who had only shell holes, the occasional gully and some rocks for shelter. The top sergeant of the 3rd Platoon went out front and was shot between the eyes.

Along with facing the deadly fire, our soldiers had to cross one of the densest minefields of the war, not knowing when they might trip one of the hair-thin wires that would set off an explosion under them. A mine called the Bouncing Betty would pop up to the level of a soldier's abdomen and explode, blasting him with its load of marble-size steel bearings.

Dole's 2nd Platoon and the other two platoons of Company I took their places in a front 200 yards long. Mines went off as the soldiers advanced, and then, as Frank Carafa of New Rochelle, N.Y., remembers, machine guns from a rock house off to the left started cutting the men down. Something had to be done.

The house was at the head of a ravine that slanted northwest. A patch of woods stood on the other side of the ravine, south of the house.

Capt. Bucher sent a runner and summoned Dole and his platoon sergeant, Carafa. When they reported, the commander gave orders for a squad to go in and "see if we could possibly knock out some of the guns," Carafa said.

Carafa was a small, affable man. In a group photograph of the platoon, his smile lights up the foreground as he lies on one elbow, helmetless, his black hair neatly combed and as luxuriant as Dole's. He had served with the platoon since it had been organized, two years before, as the company commander knew.

"Being as I had been the platoon leader for so long, he just suggested that I take the squad," Carafa said.

Under that plan, Dole, with the rest of the platoon, would be covering the squad with rifle fire.

If he had nodded to Carafa and said, "OK, go ahead," the world might have gained a successful physician - supposing he could bring up that C average - and lost one of its most powerful and capable political leaders. It might also have lost an agreeable little guy who, at 75, is currently maintenance superintendent for the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities, in the northern suburbs of New York City.

The man who had taken responsibility for getting his brother and sisters to school on time listened to the company commander's order, and it would be illuminating if a tape recording of his response were available. Did Dole speak in the voice that millions now recognize in a word or two, a voice as flat as truck-stop pancakes and about as leathery? Or did an awareness of what the decision meant make his voice grave and, for once, soft?

In whatever tones, the words were fateful. "I'll take them, sergeant," Dole said.

Carafa knew very well that Dole did not have to say those words. He could have left the orders as they were and sent his sergeant out to face the bullets.

"That's what made me love the man so much," Carafa said in a genial New York growl, talking by phone from his office. "He was a man who took his duty at heart."

Carafa and Dole returned to the platoon, and Dole, as always, told the men what was going to happen. He would take a 10-man squad. They would try to knock out the guns in the house.

Practically shelterless, the squad set out crawling and scrambling up a slight incline at the west end of Hill Nine-Thirteen and moved toward the rock house. Machine gun and rifle bullets buzzed past and projectiles from mortars and the Germans' super-accurate 88-millimeter howitzers struck and burst. Men all around Dole were being hit.

As the squad moved up, Dole threw a grenade at the farmhouse. The explosion - Dole seems to say in his book - alerted the machine gunners to the presence of the squad, and they started zipping bullets down the ravine at them. Dole dived into a hole left by the morning's bombardment. From there he saw his radio man fall. He crawled out of the hole and, though the man was dead or dying, pulled him in. Then he crawled back out.

Just then, Dole writes, he felt a sharp pain in his upper right back. No one has figured out exactly what hit him, but the damage was so extensive that Dole thinks it was an exploding shell rather than just a machine gun bullet. It smashed his right shoulder, crushed his collarbone and punctured a lung. It also damaged vertebr. He was paralyzed from the neck down.

He lay face-down on a rocky hill 5,800 miles from Russell, thinking his arms had been blown off - he had no feeling in them. Soon other members of his platoon came forward. The first was Staff Sgt. Ollie Manninen, a stocky Massachusetts soldier who had trained as a distance runner during his time in the Army and who would place 19th in the marathon in the 1948 Olympics.

Manninen saw someone lying on the ground. He couldn't see the face and "didn't know who the body was," he said. But he stopped to see if he could help.

As he put down his rifle, a sniper's bullet hit it, shattering the stock - Al Nencioni gave him his rifle later as a replacement. Manninen (the accent is on the first syllable, Finnish-style) turned the body over. "I thought he was really gone," he said.

But he pulled Dole a few feet into a shell crater, just in case, and moved on. The rest of the platoon caught up with him, and eventually, they and the other units did take Hill Nine-Thirteen.

Whether it was Manninen's up-front help that saved Dole's life or whether it was what Frank Carafa did a few moments later is a subject of debate among surviving members of the platoon. Maybe, on the other hand, it was the medical help given by Arthur McBryar, a big-boned Tennessean. Most likely, all three had a part.

In a daze, Dole called for help. His men heard him, but he was lying 40 to 70 yards away in heavy fire.

"Not being a hero of any kind," Carafa said, "I just ignored his call. But the thing is, he kept calling and calling."

After a bit, the men heard their lieutenant adding a name to his cries. "Sergeant Carafa," he was pleading. They told Carafa, and he set out across the field. Otherwise, he said recently, he would have lost the respect of his men.

Carafa crawled out to the ravine. Dole had his right arm extended, and he was moaning. Carafa grabbed for the extended arm - the one that had been blown nearly off his body, though Carafa couldn't know that.

"He really gave a yell, and he passed out," Carafa said.

By that time, Dole weighed close to 195 pounds, and dragging all that virtual dead weight was too much for Carafa, who weighed about 140.

"I started crying," Carafa said. "I didn't know what the hell to do. I couldn't leave him there. Just the help of God, I guess, gave me the strength to keep dragging him."

At times, when he couldn't drag Dole any farther, he rolled him down the incline like a log. Finally they were back with the platoon.

Carafa took a better look at Dole then. "He was bleeding like a pig, my God," he said.

Kuschick, second in command of the platoon, gave Dole a morphine tablet and marked his forehead with an M so medics would know not to give him more. Medics, when they made that mark, used a stick like lipstick. Kuschick did not have one of those. He made the mark in Dole's blood.

All the soldiers carried medical supplies. McBryar, a bulky, 6-foot private from Chattanooga, who was the runner for the platoon, pressed a bandage on Dole's wound to stop the bleeding.

He poured three or four packages of sulfa onto the wound. "It looked like his whole shoulder blowed away," he said. Someone else said Dole had the gray look that dying soldiers get.

But when Dole asked how bad his wound was, McBryar replied, "You're going to be fine, lieutenant."

Nine hours after he was hit, medics had made their way to Dole and carried him on a stretcher to a field hospital. In his book, Dole says that during those hours, lying paralyzed and doped with morphine, he didn't know where he was but kept seeing scenes of home as if in a movie: his playmates from Russell, his parents, Spitzy . . .

As he lay dreaming those dreams, bazookas were brought in and wiped out the machine guns - as should have been done in the first place, Carafa said.

For more than 40 years, Carafa had no idea whom he had saved. He found out when he attended the official reactivation of the 10th Mountain Division in 1987 at Fort Drum, N.Y. One of the speakers, a senator named Dole, mentioned to the gathering what platoon he had been in.

"I was sitting next to a buddy of mine," Carafa said, "and I said, 'You're full of crap. That was my platoon.'

"He was just with us five or six weeks. I always thought his name was Doyle."

But then Dole called Carafa's name and said that but for him, "I wouldn't be here today." He called on Carafa to come forward and be recognized.

"You could have knocked me over," Carafa said. "I was speechless."

Though Dole was awarded a Bronze Star for heroism, Carafa never got a medal for helping save him. He explained that because of his condition Dole had not been able to give official testimony about the rescue.