Sen. Sherrod Brown: Don Kindt was a personal hero to many

The phone rang in my college dorm room in January 1974. It was my mother calling.

"Don Kindt wants to talk to you," she said. "He asked for your phone number. He wants you to run for state representative."

My dad chimed in from the phone in the upstairs bedroom: "You're too young. I wouldn't vote for you."

Don Kindt did not agree.

To Don, serving the public transcended age, occupation or position. From his days as a war hero -- a term he never used to describe himself -- to personnel director at the Ohio Department of Transportation, to U.S. marshal, and then as assistant secretary of state, Don always believed in public service, in the best sense of the term.

Don was badly injured in the Korean War. He was awarded two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. Don also lost his left eye; he wore a glass replacement for the rest of his life. Don never complained about his sacrifice, or even talked much about it. Instead, he called himself "one of the luckiest men in the luckiest generation."

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Sen. Sherrod Brown: Don Kindt was a personal hero to many »