One Man

& # 8217 ; s Struggle To Stay Alive Essay, Research Paper

One Man? s Struggle to Stay Alive

Over the old ages John Sidney McCain, the white hairy Senator from Arizona has survived many things. He has endured three plane clangs, a firestorm at sea, and a North Vietnamese prison cantonment, to emerge as a major participant in the national political scene. The Vietnam War had a important impact on Senator McCain. McCain spent five and a half old ages in North Vietnamese prisons, 31 months in lone and was viciously tortured. Yet, about instantly upon his release in 1973, he began seting Vietnam behind him. This blithe adult male has seldom lost sight of what he has called? the shadow of Vietnam? ( Timberg 12 ) . Due to his go oning parts to the United States, John McCain has become a true American hero and would do an first-class president for our state.

. John McCain grew up in a household rich with Navy heritage. John McCain? s gramps was one of the naval forces? s greatest commanding officers and led the strongest aircraft bearer force of the Third Fleet. McCain? s male parent who was a undersea commanding officer during World War II was every bit distinguished by epic service in the naval forces. Both McCain? s male parent and gramps rose to the rank of four-star admiral, doing the McCain? s the first household in American history to accomplish that differentiation. John McCain III followed in his gramps and male parent? s footfalls when he entered the U.S. Navy Academy in 1951. McCain struggled during his four old ages at the academy, but in June 1954, he graduated with 899 other immature work forces. The Class of? 58 had been whittled down by 25 per centum. Of the 899 who endured the four old ages at the U.S. Navel Academy, John McCain was one of them, standing fifth from the underside. The Navel Academy was really stiff for McCain, but even as a adolescent, he showed presidential traits, doggedness being one of them. This characteristic is highly of import for John McCain if he wants to be the adult male to take our state.

John McCain continued to press on and in August 1958, McCain reported to flight school at Pensacola were he would get down his Navy calling. Small did McCain cognize that his speedy thought would be tested non merely one time, but three times during his winging. One Saturday forenoon, as McCain was practising landings, his engine quit and his plane plunged into Corpus Christi Bay. McCain survived with minor hurts but that would be his first of many coppices with decease ( Norman ) .

The autumn of 1965, John McCain had his 2nd brush with decease where once more, his speedy thought would salvage him. He was winging solo to Philadelphia to watch the Army-Navy game when his engine died. At one thousand pess, he ejected, set downing on a abandoned beach minutes before the plane slammed into a bunch of trees. McCain? s doggedness and speedy thought has been tested and both times, he has shown true leading qualities that every president needs ( Norman ) .

Once once more, John McCain? s accomplishments would be tested. On July 29, 1967, he was where he wanted to be, on the flight deck of a Navy Aircraft. Before taking off to bomb Hanoi, McCain was traveling through his preflight cheques, when a isolated electromotive force from his plane blew apart the exterior fuel armored combat vehicle on McCain? s bomber. Two hundred gallons of extremely flammable gas streamed onto the flight deck steeping everything in its way. McCain still strapped in the cockpit of his plane was surrounded in a gulf of fires. McCain, rapidly leaping out of his plane onto the flight deck, escaped merely before the combustion fuel set fire to his plane. When it was all over, 134 work forces were dead, losing, or injured. McCain and the other pilots in his squadron lost all hope in contending the Vietnam War. All hope was restored when another Air Carrier had been losing pilots and where looking for voluntaries to make full the ranks. John McCain signed on to the new squadron ( Timberg ) .

John McCain? s new assignment had eventually come on October 26, 1967, when he took flight to Vietnam to bomb a power works in Hanoi. Little did McCain cognize that Hanoi was now more to a great extent defended against air onslaughts than any other metropolis in history. Just as McCain had released his bomb, a missile locked onto his aircraft. The missile took out his right wing, directing his plane into a violent downward spiral. Ejecting before his plane spun wildly out of control, he smashed his right articulatio genus into the instrument panel shattering his patella. He besides broke both weaponries due to the uneven air force per unit area in the cockpit and atmosphere. McCain landed in a little lake in the centre of Hanoi. Before he had clip to inspect his lesions, Vietnamese soldiers grabbed him and pulled McCain to shore. They so interrogated him and inflicted more lesions to his organic structure. The unvarying soldiers threw McCain in the dorsum of a truck, headed for Hao Lo prison, North Vietnam? s largest Penitentiary. Once at that place, they bandaged his lesions and proceeded to interrogate him until he provided military information. Receiving none, the Vietnamese soldiers left McCain for dead. Aware that he might decease, McCain struggled to remain alive. Then a gleam of hope arose when the cantonment functionary walked in. The official asked McCain, ? Your male parent is a large admiral, ? McCain replied, ? Yes, my male parent is an admiral. ?

? Now we take you to the infirmary, ? said the cantonment functionary ( Timberg 80 ) .

After two hebdomads, McCain was shifted to another portion of the infirmary where a physician attempted to put his right arm with out anaesthesia with no fortune. Giving up, the physician placed a plaster dramatis personae on McCain that ran from his waist to his cervix. After McCain was put in the dramatis personae, he was moved to Hanoi where he would pass the following five and a half old ages.

While in Hanoi, a Gallic telecasting crew interviewed him ; it was subsequently aired in America on CBS Television. McCain? s wellness was melting fast, until he was moved from the infirmary to a plantation where fellow American prison inmates nursed McCain back to wellness. When McCain was eventually able to acquire around by himself, his cellmate, Bud Day was removed from the cell and McCain was left entirely for the following two old ages.

During the first month entirely in his cell, the camp officer asked McCain, ? Do you desire to travel place? ? ( Timberg 92 ) McCain denied the offer, recognizing that there was traveling to be hell at that place on. McCain was right, a hebdomad subsequently 14 guards beat him senselessly for several yearss until he had signed a confession. Feeling that he had dishonored his state, McCain tried to hang himself. Before he could acquire the rope around his cervix a guard explosion into his cell drawing McCain off from the window. Two decennaries subsequently, McCain stated, ? I don? T know whether I would hold really gone through with it or non? ? ? I have no thought. I sort of uncertainty it? ( Howes 14 ) . In the 31 months that McCain spent in lone parturiency, he was allow out merely one time.

It was Christmas Eve 1968, and the prison guards set up a church service for the captives. After being ordered to take part, McCain spoiled the servic

vitamin E because he knew that it was propaganda. Returning to his cell, he received the whipping he knew would come. Then on Christmas Eve 1970, McCain was eventually let out of lone and placed with 50 other American soldiers. McCain could non believe his good luck ; it was the perfect Christmas nowadays ( Timberg 102 ) . McCain spent most of his staying imprisonment at that place, though he was moved for a clip to a little cantonment near the Chinese boundary line. Orson Swindle remembered the John McCain of this period:

He looked kind of good story when he talked to you. He merely couldn? t travel his weaponries really much, nil above his shoulders. Yet, the rogue was over at that place making push-ups. They were a amusing kind of push-ups, kind of tilted. And he would run in topographic point. We occupied a batch of our clip with exercisings, and he was stiff-legged, resiling as best he could running in topographic point. And an absolute chain-smoker. I? ve seen John have two or three coffin nails lighted at the same clip. ( Norman 189 )

On March 14, 1973, John Sidney McCain was released from the POW cantonment. He had survived near decease experiences and old ages of anguish. Using the accomplishments, he had learned, such as doggedness and speedy thought, and believing that the United States is the best state in the universe, he was ready to set his dreams into action.

The war and its wake ushered in troubled times for those who served in Vietnam. Unlike veterans of other wars, many came place to ill will, hatred, laughter, and at best indifferences. Yet, 1000s of work forces came place wounded or emotionally shattered by the war. In the confusing wake of the struggle, these veterans found small significance in their lives. John McCain belongs to yet another group, likely the largest, and the 1 that waited patiently for America to come to its senses. Unlike most Vietnam veterans, McCain and other POWs were welcomed place as heroes. To many Americans they were. To others, they symbolized the national play that efficaciously marked the terminal of the state? s engagement in the Vietnam War. As in Hanoi, McCain was besides one of the best-known captives. McCain utilizing his celebrity and luck returning to the United States would utilize his POW experience as a stepping-stone to get down his calling in political relations.

John McCain started the long procedure of a promising political calling by taking uneven occupations in Washington. For four old ages, McCain did the dirty work for Senators. Never the lupus erythematosus, he gained the trust and esteem of the Senators, developing particular relationships with some of the Senate? s most powerful figures. McCain? s popularity was broad and deep, and he was in demand for abroad bodyguard responsibility of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations commissions.

In the spring of 1979, McCain became a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations commission to stand for the United States. While on one of his abroad trips, McCain met a beautiful adult female by the name of Cindy. Cindy was the girl of a affluent Anheuser-Busch distributer, who was learning handicapped teenage kids. Before John met Cindy, he had been antecedently married for 15 old ages. McCain loved his first married woman in a heartfelt way, but he lost five and a half old ages of his life to Vietnam. In an interview with Sam Donaldson McCain said, ? I? m responsible for the dissolution of my first matrimony, and I will ever bear that duty. And I am non proud of it? ( McCain Interview ) . However, how understanding would electors be if McCain decided to run for a political office due to matrimonial jobs or would they non see McCain as a hero, but instead, as merely another Vietnam veteran?

McCain considered all the aims, but he had decided to get down his life over once more. ? I think he was determined that his hereafter was non traveling to be controlled by those five and a half old ages and his POW experience, ? said former POW. ? He saw Cindy as the focal point for his regeneration? ( Timberg 132 ) . After his Armed Services and Foreign Relations commission occupation came to a arrest, McCain went on with his political calling softly but efficaciously helping Senator Jim McGovern for the following two old ages.

After McCain? s two old ages with McGovern, he decided it was clip for a alteration. Carol and John moved to Arizona to derive residence so he could run for Congress in 1982. The twelvemonth taking up to McCain? s congressional triumph in Tucson, Arizona, he took an active function in the province Republican Party. He helped with fund elevation, local runs, and dinner addresss to raise his profile. McCain besides led a grueling agenda of door-to-door candidacy six hours a twenty-four hours, six yearss a hebdomad. In the terminal the difficult work paid away and on Election Day, McCain won. McCain had done it! Over the following 16 old ages, John McCain would win two more elections, non as a congressional representative, but as a US Senator of Arizona. McCain? s political success does non stop yet, on April 13, 1999, McCain announced that he was a campaigner for President of the United States. Although McCain? s Presidential campaigning was ephemeral, he continues to be a outstanding figure on the American political landscape.

Through all of John McCain? s experiences in life, he exemplifies a true American hero. His oppositions to complacency with the guards made all of the other POWs regard him. As the narratives spread to the American people he went from a cipher at the underside of his graduating category at the United States Naval Academy, to a United States Senator from Arizona, to a former campaigner for the approaching presidential term. He has shown qualities like no other U.S. presidential campaigner before him. He has turned his experiences into positives and has proven his leading accomplishments through each. Doggedness, speedy thought, and the love of his state are merely a few. John McCain is non merely an American hero but besides the most qualified adult male for America as the following U.S. President.

Plants Consulted

Alter, Jonathon. ? White Tornado. ? Newsweek 15 Nov. 1999 ; 43.

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Howes, Craig. Voices of the Vietnam POWs: Witnesss to Their Fight. New York:

Oxford University Press, 1993.

McCain, John. Interview. 20/20. ABC News. 8 Sept. 1999

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& # 8212 ; . ? Faith of My Fathers. ? Online poster. 4 April 2000

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& # 8212 ; . From a address? What So Proudly We Hail. ? Online posting June 1999. 4 April

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Norman Geoffrey. Bouncing Back: How a Heroic Band of POWs Survived Vietnam.

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990.

Rochester, Stuart I. And Frederick Kiley. Honor Bound: The History of American

Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia. Washington D.C. : Historical Office of the Secretary

of Defense, 1998.

Timberg, Robert. John McCain An American Odyssey. New York: Touchstone, 1999.