The recent death of Senator John McCain has evoked significant commentary from all sides of the political spectrum about the nature of his legacy of service to our nation.
What is indisputable is that McCain fought his final battle with cancer the same way he conducted himself during years of distinguished military service – with bravery and dignity.
Many years ago, before my husband, Larry, deployed to Vietnam, we were both acutely aware of McCain’s capture by the North Vietnamese after being shot down on a combat mission. While concerning, at the time, I was far more worried about Larry being killed than captured.
Larry was a 1st Lt. in the USAF and flew Forward Air Controller. John McCain was a prisoner of the Vietnamese from 1965-1972, longer than Larry lived after he deployed to Vietnam in 1970 and was killed in 1971.
Over many years, I have carefully followed John McCain’s subsequent service to his country as an Arizona Senator. A part of my soul has always identified with him because, unlike Larry, he returned home from Vietnam, injured but able to resume his life and service. He has been a hero of mine for years, although I have not always agreed with him. I admired that he stood up for what he believed.
I am always amazed and sad when I hear people demean those who choose a life of military service or even a career in Washington. My hope and expectation is that history will be kind to John McCain and others like him – who followed a principled path that’s too lightly tread in these tumultuous times, dedicating his life to serving his nation.
God Bless John McCain. May he rest in peace.
© Tyra Manning 2018