When Sen. John Glenn passed away, my daughter’s social media post said simply: “John Glenn cared about my mother, and he cared about me. I will be forever grateful to this kind, brave legend who served our country with honor.” Indeed, we were both fortunate to know Sen. Glenn and his wife, Annie. He supported me in my career and my personal life, even long after I left his Senate staff for other opportunities.
I am forever grateful for the kindness he displayed when I adopted my daughter from an orphanage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Sen. Glenn put a box next to the coffee machine and encouraged staff to donate supplies for the orphanage, which I was required to bring with me. The staff was so generous that I filled an oversized Army duffle bag.
An attempted coup delayed my trip until the political situation in Russia stabilized. Sen. Glenn wrote a “letter of safe passage,” personally vouching for my reputation and character. Although I ended up not needing it, it sure made me feel better to have it with me.
When I arrived back in the U.S. with Megan Ksenia, Sen. Glenn hosted a baby shower for us in his office. The senator gave Megan a pewter baby cup with a handwritten card, “To Megan: With best regards, and Welcome Aboard!” He was welcoming her to the Glenn staff family, one that would surround both of us with love and support for many years.
Eileen P. Bradner, staff, Senate Special Committee on Aging, 1980-1985, and Legislative Assistant in Senate Office, 1985-1988