Cleland started in politics in 1971, three years after he returned from his service in the Vietnam War. As a U.S. Army captain, Cleland won a bronze and silver star before a battle wound forced the amputation of both his legs. In his three-plus decades in politics, Cleland worked in the Jimmy Carter administration, served as Georgia's secretary of state from 1982-1996 and later as a Georgia senator from 1997-2003.
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