Of all of the senators, John Sidney McCain III is the most distinguished one. When he proudly served in the Vietnam War, he earned his badge of courage. At the age of 30, he began his duty in the Vietnam War. He participated in Rolling Thunder, a bombing campaign during the Vietnam War. Since he worked hard, he became a lieutenant commander. He even volunteered in Operation Rolling Thunder on the USS Oriskany aircraft carrier.
As an avid pilot, McCain was successful in his missions. However on October 26, 1967, he became a prisoner of war (POW) on his 23rd bombing mission. When his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile, the North Vietnamese captured McCain. They smashed his shoulders.
As a POW, he spent years in the notorious prison nicknamed the, “Hanoi Hilton.” Like other captives, he was frequently beaten. This was the tactic that the North Vietnamese used to obtain information from their prisoners. Spending five and a half years as a POW, McCain endured both verbal and physical abuse. When he was finally set free on March 14, 1975, he returned as a war hero. Even after undergoing intense physical therapy, still to this day, he cannot raise his hands over his head.
Since his hands have helped our nation, they are strong. As a senator, he is not afraid to fight political corruption. Ever since 1987,McCain has served our nation as a Republican United States Senator of Arizona. He is now facing the greatest battle of his life. On July 17, 2017, McCain had a craniology at the Mayo Clinic Hospital to remove a blood clot. During the procedure, physicians discovered a brain tumor called glioblastoma. With his courage, he will fight to regain his health and continue to work as a senator. All of his life, McCain has fought many battles. Coming from a military family, fighting is in his genes.
Born on August 29, 1936 at Coco Solo Naval Station in the Panama Canal Zone, his father and his paternal grandfather, John S. McCain Sr., were four-star Navy admirals. Following in their footsteps, McCain attended the prestigious United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. In 1960, he went to flight school. Due to his expertise as a pilot, he became a leader in the Vietnam War.
The younger generation of the McCain family also serves their nation. McCain’s three sons, John Sidney IV, James and Douglas, have all served in the military. John Sidney IV, who graduated from the US Naval Academy in 2009, is a helicopter pilot. James proudly served in the Marines in the Iraq War. Douglas flew jets in the Navy.
For his military service, McCain received medals. He received the Silver Star Medal, two Legion of Merits, Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Heart Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and a Prisoner of War Medal.
When McCain served as the Navy’s liaison to the US Senate in 1977, his interest in politics grew. He decided to resume his public service as a politician. As a senator, McCain has a very impressive record. Diplomatically, he helped to establish relations with Vietnam. He is also a strong supporter of human rights. The McCain Detainee Amendment forbids brutal treatment of prisoners. Economically, he has helped the Native Americans through the gaming industry. Indian gaming is now a $23 billion business. As a environmental advocates, McCain and Senator Joe Lieberman, co-sponsored the Climate Stewardship Act to lessen greenhouse gases.
Of all of his accomplishments, McCain’s greatest legacy is the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. In the quest to end political corruption, Democratic Senator Russ Feingold and McCain worked very hard on this bill. President George Bush finally signed it into law. This law fights political corruption by controlling the financing of political campaigns.
Aspiring to become more than a senator, McCain tried to become a president. In 2000, he tried to get the Republican nomination for president, but he lost to George W. Bush. In 2008, McCain became the Republican candidate who ran against Barack Obama. Even though he lost the election, he still had public support. By speaking candidly and openly on the Straight Talk Express, the media loved him.
In addition to being a remarkable senator, he has authored many books. His 1999 memoir, Faith of my Fathers, a work that he authored with Mark Salter, was his most successful. This account is about his experiences growing up in a military family. He also described his service in the Vietnam War. This poignant work became a bestseller. McCain’s book was even adapted into a TV film.
As McCain moves on to the next chapter of his life, he needs our support more than ever before. This is not the first time that McCain had cancer. He had melanoma and beat the disease.
Like McCain, Jimmy Carter also had brain cancer. He had metastatic cancer and miraculously he is cancer free today. In addition to surgery, radiation therapy and immunotherapy, physicians treated him with the drug pembrolizumab. By making the immune system stronger, pembrolizumab fights cancer.