As the linked Washington Post obituary documents, Senator Frank Lautenberg passed away today at the age of eighty-nine (89). Regardless of your politics, Senator Lautenberg’s legacy as a five-term congressman cannot be overstated. His demeanor — which I find defines the personality of most of U.S. servicemembers — was described by his former press secretary as: “He’s a gentleman, but if you hit him with a Scud missile, he’ll hit you with a nuclear attack. . . .”
Senator Lautenberg’s legacy is also reflective of the importance of G.I. Bill in American history. As occurred with Senator Lautenberg, the G.I. Bill permitted generations of veterans who, otherwise, did not have financial means to obtain college/advanced degrees. Ultimately, and as exemplified by Senator Lautenberg, this bill shaped the course of 20th Century American politics and business.