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Letter: McCain’s a true hero, worthy of our respect

McCain’s a true hero, worthy of our respect

Regarding Sen. John McCain, President Trump said, “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

With the outbreak of the Vietnam War, McCain volunteered for combat duty and began flying low-altitude bombing runs against the North Vietnamese. On his 23rd mission, McCain’s plane was shot down over Hanoi. His captors learned he was the son of a high-ranking officer in the U.S. Navy and repeatedly offered him early release, but McCain refused. McCain spent 5½ years in captivity and was repeatedly tortured. McCain earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.

Regarding his own service, Trump claims that it was a high draft number that kept him out of the war, but his Selective Service records suggest otherwise. Trump requested and was granted a dubious medical exemption well before he received his high draft number. When asked about his sacrifices, he said, “I work very, very hard. I’ve ... built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success.”

Regarding McCain’s understandable opposition to CIA nominee Gina Haspel, White House aide Kelly Sadler said that it doesn’t matter “because he’s dying anyway.” Sen. Lindsey Graham called Sadler’s remarks a “disgusting thing to say,” and added, “John McCain can be criticized for any political decision he’s ever made, or any vote he’s ever cast, but he’s an American hero.” I agree! I like people who have served.

T. William Alexander

Buffalo

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