With all the rhetoric about Trump’s comments concerning John McCain and whether he is a war hero is causing much controversy. It asks the question: What is a war hero?
Is it someone who was taken prisoner? If that were the case, then every prisoner of war would be considered a hero. Would that include those who threw up their hands and surrendered make them a hero? An example of a war hero in my view was Audi Murphy. Ann wrote a book about him. In my mind, a hero is someone who risked his life to save the lives of his comrades or performed an action to the risk of his life for the benefit of his unit. There must be other actions that define a hero.
Yesterday I watched some videos about John McCain narrated by Veterans who knew and served with him. Their outspoken comments were not complimentary, but rather painted him as an irresponsible person who when captured “Sang like a bird.” As the son of an Admiral, McCain was an important prisoner and heavily interrogated. It is said that he was used to make propaganda films for the enemy. There was an effort to declassify documents relating to this period of time and McCain’s record. The declassification was strongly opposed by McCain and even John Kerry. Declassification of documents would seem appropriate unless there is something to hide.
We don’t know what happened and can only make assumptions based on what we hear. I’m inclined to give credence to people who knew him well and served with him. If they would not vote for him or support a fellow Veteran, there must be a good reason. Trying to disparage a Veteran, especially by someone who avoided serving, like Trump, is stupid. What motive would Trump have to trash another person?
It is said that McCain was a reckless flyer and responsible for the destruction/damage of several aircraft. It is a valid concern for a person like McCain to become President. Is he vulnerable to blackmail? The Russians were involved with interrogations conducted during the Vietnam War. They sought information from prisoners who had knowledge about our military. It would seem that the son of an Admiral would have more knowledge than most.
Nothing that I have written about can be proven. Making it a political issue ignites questions that require answers. Is McCain a war hero? Does it matter?