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As Long as We Remember...

October 24, 2013

Heroism Trumps Politics

Chris Cavey

This past week Joe Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. "Joe the Plumber," opined on his blog that he was "officially revoking his respect for Sen. John McCain's service to our country." Claiming in his piety as an all-wise plumber turned politico that McCain's voting record has negated his prior acts of valor.


This outburst of mindless, unpatriotic self-promotion was then posted on various Internet sites where many people proceeded to agree. Trying to self-righteously claim their small political thoughts are more important than the service of a hero who gave years of his life to preserve our freedoms.


Service to our country, regardless of your political perspective, is one of the greatest gifts any citizen can give to their nation. No one has the right to belittle the sacrifices made in war. Those who were imprisoned and tortured by our enemies should have our undying gratitude for their suffrage.


I absolutely disagree with most of Senator McCain's thoughts and do not understand his current political stances. I am disappointed at the direction of his leadership within the Senate; however, he is directly answerable to the citizens of Arizona – not to me. Nevertheless, truth be told, I would welcome John McCain as my senator over the likes of a Ben Cardin or Barbara Mikulski.


In May of 2008 I was asked to chair the McCain for President campaign in Maryland. Frankly, I didn't say yes at first. John McCain was not my first choice for the Republican nomination – he was not my second or third choice either! But those candidates had dropped out of the race and I did not want either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as my commander-in-chief…so I agreed.


Over the course of the next several months I learned many lessons and had the opportunity to meet many people, including John McCain, several times. Senator McCain was a poor candidate, gave lackluster speeches and was oddly quiet for a presidential contender on the campaign trail. I surmised it had to do with the prior evil he had endured.


One morning I was with Senator McCain, many of his fellow POW's and some of his Naval Academy buddies, at a press conference in the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. The experience was unbelievable. There were stories of the Naval Academy days, Vietnam, the Hanoi Hilton and all the good times since. You could actually see the bond when fellow POW's chatted – and they never spoke about their woes. Other people in the room recanted the stories of heroism on their behalf.


John McCain needs to be replaced by the citizens of Arizona as their senator. Many times I have disagreed with his vote and his leadership. But I know he would have made a better president than Barack Obama, and I know irrevocably for sure John McCain is a hero who sacrificed for his country.


Joe, go unstop a toilet – and stick with what you know.


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