Couple drives from Texas to attend McGovern Services - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Couple drives from Texas to attend McGovern Services

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People from all over the country are in town to pay their respects to George McGovern, but getting here wasn't easy for many people.  

Randall and Janet Middlebrook drove over 1000 miles to attend Thursday's prayer service and Friday's funeral.  In all, the trip took them more than 18 hours.   

"We left Katy, left the house at 6:00 yesterday morning and we were just getting into bed at 2:00am this morning," said Janet Middlebrook. 

Randall said during the high point of hunting season, it is nearly impossible to get a flight into Sioux Falls at the last minute.   

But that didn't stop them from coming to pay their respects.   

Randall was the volunteer coordinator in Texas for McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign. It was his first time working in politics. 

"Without George McGovern's influence in the 1972 campaign and Bernie Hanson's influence in 1972, I don't think I would have continued in politics like I did," said Randall Middlebrook. 

After working for McGovern's campaign, Randall went on to work for several congressmen on Capital Hill and in Austin, TX.  

Today he teaches high school government classes in Texas and tries to bring McGovern's values into his classroom so his students can also be inspired.  

"What I tried to do was give them a sense of who he was: his opposition to the war in Vietnam, environmental issues, [and knowing] the right thing to do at the right time," said Randall Middlebrook. 

Like so many others in Sioux Falls for the prayer service and funeral, the Middlebrooks felt is was extremely important to come and say good-bye to a man who helped shaped their lives in many ways…even if they had to drive. 

"What he meant to the American political seen, what he meant to individuals, people my age when I was in college...It's just the right thing to do, to come and say goodbye," said Randall Middlebrook.

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