John McCain, War Hero, American Patriot
Mr. McCain, center, after he ejected from his fighter plane in 1967 and fell into a lake. The Vietnamese imprisoned and tortured him for more than five years.CreditLibrary of Congress

THERE WILL never be another John McCain in the United States Senate.

Washington, D.C. hasn’t been the same since he left.

On foreign policy, he sometimes made me want to pull out my hair. But he was the only politician I ever knew who laid his career on the line over the success of a military operation. Senator John McCain bet it all on the Iraq surge.

The man gave everything he had through service.

Mr. McCain was stripped to his skivvies, kicked and spat upon, then bayoneted in the left ankle and groin. A North Vietnamese soldier struck him with his rifle butt, breaking a shoulder. A woman tried to give him a cup of tea as a photographer snapped pictures. Carried to a truck, Mr. McCain was driven to Hoa Lo, the prison compound its American inmates had labeled the Hanoi Hilton.

There he was denied medical care. His knee swelled to the size and color of a football. He lapsed in and out of consciousness for days. When he awoke in a cell infested with roaches and rats, he was interrogated and beaten. The beatings continued for days. He gave his name, rank and serial number and defied his tormentors with curses.

After two weeks, a doctor, without anesthesia, tried to set his right arm, broken in three places, but gave up in frustration and encased it in a plaster cast. He was moved to another site and tended by two American prisoners of war, who brought him back from near death.

Once he was visited by a group of North Vietnamese dignitaries. A prisoner, Jack Van Loan, said Mr. McCain shrieked at them. “Here’s a guy that’s all crippled up, all busted up, and he doesn’t know if he’s going to live to the next day, and he literally blew them out of there with a verbal assault,” Mr. Van Loan told Mr. Timberg. “You can’t imagine the example John set for the rest of the camp by doing that.” …

The love John McCain had for our country will make for a restless spirit.

There will be no peace for this American patriot until the old man in the White House is removed.

Nothing will overcome the loss of Senator McCain, but so that generations remember him I will be introducing a resolution to rename the Russell building after him.” – Senator Chuck Schumer (source)