October 17, 2008

The Honor Of John McCain

By Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.

Several years ago, while on a training mission in the Arizona desert, one of our apache helicopters suffered a malfunction and crashed, killing both pilots, and creating two new widows. One of those widows was part of my family, and we rushed south to support both of them as best we could. Every politician in the state sent letters of condolence; John McCain sent a member of his staff. While others sent sympathy, John McCain’s man asked what he could do to help. We thanked him for the offer, but sent him on his way. The letters stopped coming but John McCain’s man did not. He came to each of the memorial services. He checked in every week. During one of his visits, he heard that these women were having a bit of trouble collecting the benefits from the government. John McCain immediately intervened to solve the problem for these women. They never asked him for the help; he simply gave it. He never asked for thanks or recognition, but they could not be more grateful. This is the honor of John McCain.

John McCain’s support for our men and women in uniform is without peer, and he shares their love of and commitment to this nation. He knows what it is to serve and to suffer. He has done so himself and at great cost. Our service men and women know they can count on John McCain as well. When Bush managed to bungle Iraq, and many talked of pulling back in defeat, our officers and service members spoke to John McCain. Armed only with knowledge of foreign affairs few could rival and his commitment to our troops and this country, he went to Bush with Gen. Petraeus to demand the surge strategy. Bush yielded, the surge has worked, and we are well on the way to victory. This is John McCain.

Though no one person could possibly be a perfect fit for the vast responsibility of the oval office, the President has only two exclusive responsibilities which really matter: foreign policy and the military. In these two areas, there could not be a more perfect candidate than John McCain. He understands foreign affairs as few others do. He is someone committed to supporting and strengthening our nation and its allies — and our allies know they can count on him. He is committed to keeping our military in the very best shape he can manage because he knows, as few others do, the depth of the sacrifice we ask of our troops, and how precious their lives are for their willingness to make it. He will not fail them or fail to defend this nation which they love enough to commit their lives to. That is John McCain.

John McCain has done much to help my family, and indeed this nation, without ever being asked, and with no expectation of reward. I now feel compelled to help him. I know John McCain. I have seen the love he has for this country and its people – not merely in what he says on the campaign or for the cameras – but in what he actually does when few people are watching. He is a man of impeccable honor and honesty. Because of this, I trust him. The power of the executive branch is growing so large that it threatens to overwhelm our Constitution; and our people, fearful of hardship and the economic crisis, seem all too willing to let this happen. Yet, I trust John McCain. I trust that John McCain has such love for this nation that he will defend our rights even when we will not, and even at the expense of his own authority. He has served this country for too long, and through too much suffering for him to consent to anything less. Such is the honor of John McCain.

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