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John McCain – American Hero

September 23rd, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

Not everyone who serves in the military is a hero. I served, and I am not a hero. I can’t compare my service to the sacrifices many others have made. Who knows if I would have been heroic under the appropriate circumstances? But I care enough about my country to have put on a uniform during wartime, which is something most Americans have not done.  Including our Commander in Chief, who was struggling with a near-fatal case of bone spurs at the time McCain was flying missions over Hanoi, and who thinks not getting venereal disease is equivalent to service in Vietnam.

Heroism can be an act like falling on a grenade, but I think it can also be an accumulation of service. McCain spent seven years in a box, then came home and continued to serve in civilian life. I am not a fan of his politics. I have never voted for him. And politics is a dirty business. But at this point he has nothing left to prove and no need to prove it, yet he made an unpopular stand against his own party out of conviction that democracy is more important than winning. He stood up against extreme partisanship. And, leaving aside his prior service, in today’s political climate, I’d call that heroic.

This video was excerpted from The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, Episode 5: http://www.pbs.org/show/vietnam-war-not-edited/

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