Sen. Dole visits Wichita VA Center

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Sen. Robert Dole visited the Robert J. Dole Veterans Administration Medical Center Tuesday in Wichita to meet and talk to veterans and their families.

Dole shook the hands of the employees of the center, the veterans and their families, even saluting them as he made his way through the center in his wheelchair with his family.

They walked through the halls until they reached the outpatient laboratory, and the 10th Mountain Way coffee shop, where they stopped to share stories and talk. The newly named coffee shop is named after Dole's military unit known as the 10th Mountain Division. There, he met a man that was a part of his division, but in a different era.

"It's a great honor, a great honor for here," said Paul Maccucci, an Army veteran of the 10th Mountain Division.

They also revealed pictures of him that were put on the wall, and he met a woman who served as a nurses aid in WWII in 1942. She said meeting Dole was an amazing experience because he is someone she looks up to.

"It just means having somebody to look up to and know that he's suffered a lot but he's served his country well," said Anna Ruth-Carpenter.

He shared a story with another WWII Army veteran who read a book that Dole wrote, and this veteran said he thought it was funny about where he served, compared to where Dole served.

"He wrote in his book that he served in Brooklyn and I came from Philadelphia," said Phillip Gluck. "I said I was jealous of you because you were in Brooklyn and they sent me to Alabama."

Gluck said there was also something else about Dole, and said it was something that really showed throughout Dole's visit.

"He's got a wonderful sense of humor, and he hasn't lost it," Gluck said.

According to another veteran that got to meet Sen. Dole, it was quite the experience.

"He is a member of our greatest generation," said Joshua Bond, an Army veteran of 17 years. "So to meet Senator Dole was very humbling."