McCain is NOT a war hero

To the Editor:
I am a veteran of Iraq (twice) and Afghanistan. I have seen war hero’s in action first hand. As much as I disagree with some of Mr. Trump’s remarks, just being a POW does not make McCain a war hero. In fact his military career was remarkably average and his academy performance was dismal. He mostly achieved what he did because of his father’s clout. So getting captured did not suddenly make his a hero.
A hero is defined as “a person of distinguished courage who has performed a heroic act.” The military is very, very clear on what acts earn medals for heroism. None of McCain’s conduct was heroic. Getting captured is not a heroic act.
Many of the men and women who served in the Middle East have shown extraordinary courage in the face of the enemy and many have paid the price. Many have done far more than McCain yet go unrecognized. Sorry to say, Mr. Trump is correct on this issue. Furthermore, McCain has done very little for his fellow veterans while in office and the huge V.A. hospital scandal started right in McCain’s home state. He has done very little to address that either.
Larry D. Thomas
St. George, Utah


  1. johninnv says:

    Mr. Thomas, there is no other way to say this than “you are a self-righteous jerk”. I don’t agree with John McCains political views on hardly a thing…..but I don’t let my political views blind me to reality nor use them to demean the service of those who serve our country in the military. Like you, I think the term “HERO” is overused a lot in today’s society. Every policemen is not a HERO, nor is every fireman, or everyone who takes a political stand that I agree or disagree with. BUT, John McCain volunteered for service in a time of war….and he didn’t run and hide with BS excuses like Trump (can’t remember what his disqualifying ailment was) or like war hawk Cheney (with his 4 deferments for a boil on his butt) or Rumsfeld, or any of the other chicken hawk politicians that just can’t wait to send OTHERS to fight and die for their foolish ideology or, worse yet, war profiteering. McCain served – maybe not the best pilot or at at the top of his class….but he volunteered and served and spent over 5 years in a prison camp while not cracking and giving the enemy strategic information…..and while NOT taking special release without his fellow prisoners. I don’t doubt that there are many true Heroes who have or are still serving in other ill-advised wars of choice in Iraq and Afghanistan, but that does not diminish the acts of those who have gone before them in service. It is MOST offensive when such criticism comes from the mouth of someone who ran and hid from service. I have 1000 times more respect for even those who took principled stances against unjust wars and refused to serve….at least they stood for something. What did Trump “stand for” other than phony excuses?

    • Neil Hendricks says:

      Terrific letter, John. I couldn’t find a single point that I didn’t agree with. This isn’t and certainly shouldn’t be a political discussion. (BTW, I’d add that athletes, politicians and actors, while some should be admired, are pretty much never heroes.

  2. kbeardsley says:

    The fact is McCain served many terrible years as a POW. Not many of the people talking could go thru the pain he suffered. Enough said!

  3. I must agree with Larry, D Thomas.

    Being a POW doesn’t automatically qualify anyone as a War Hero.

  4. George Jensen says:

    I have to agree, just being a POW does not make McCain a hero. Like a prior comment, every policeman, fireman or soldier is not a hero. Bravery above and beyond the call of duty is heroic. Many young soldiers in foreign wars do heroic acts and are never recognized. McCains military career was uninspiring and lacking any heroic qualities on his part. Unfortunately becoming a POW does not suddenly make a lackluster soldier a hero.

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