John S. McCain, III

I never knew John McCain personally, although we certainly could have met. We were both Naval aviators, but I got my wings only months before he was shot down over Hanoi, and I later worked as a Congressional staffer, including duties involving the House Armed Services Committee, while he was the Navy liaison to the Senate. But in the Navy he was a jet pilot, and I was a helo driver, and we were stationed in different places, just as our coinciding times in Washington, D.C., involved different spheres and duties.

For all that, John McCain embodied many of the characteristics I’ve done my best to depict in my heroic protagonists. He made mistakes, often large ones, but he learned from them and persevered. Regardless of mistakes, in his Naval career and his personal and political life, he put his beliefs in the kind of country the United States can be and should be at the forefront and continued to persevere in working toward improving it. Sometimes, I had doubts about the approaches he took, but no one should ever have doubted his desire to better the country or his dogged determination against obstacles that would have destroyed a less motivated and determined man.

Among Republicans, I see no political figure even close to filling his shoes, and I have doubts that there ever will be one in the next decade. Ill as he was, even last month, he stood up to Trump while most Republicans either fawned, equivocated, or changed the subject.

Did I always agree with him? No. Was he perfect? Far from it. But I’ll take one John McCain over all the burnished politicians with seemingly few flaws, no real core, and only the ability to get re-elected by essentially standing for nothing, mouthing whatever will get them votes, and ignoring the challenges that face our nation.

1 thought on “John S. McCain, III”

  1. Wine Guy says:

    Well said.

    Farewell and Following Seas, CAPT McCain.

    LCDR (sep) Huber

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