John McCain – hero, villain, maverick, or all of them

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I never met John McCain. I did vote for him, when he and Sarah Palin ran for on the GOP presidential ticket. I, along with many Navy vets my age, worked for Senator McCain's father while stationed in the WestPac. Admiral McCain was CINCPAC at that time.
I told my wife this morning at breakfast, it will be interesting to see how John McCain is remembered. Was he a hero, a villain, a maverick, or all of them.
First off, the 1967 USS Forrestal incident. This happened when John McCain was in his jet, on the flight deck, getting ready to launch. What happened that day is still a matter of confusion and controversy. Why? Total fog of war. Most, but not all, has been patched together. The rumor that McCain had launched the missile which started this conflagration has been proven false. What was never determined was this did the missile hit McCain's jet which caused one of two bombs to become dislodged and land on the flight deck? Or did McCain accidentally dislodge them while trying to escape. In any event, over 130 sailors died, and the Forrestal came within inches from being lost.
Then there was the mission in which McCain was shot down. He survived the landing, but was badly injured. When it was found out by the NVA that he was Admiral McCain's son, the younger McCain became a prize. The fact he was injured did not faze his captors - he was beaten, abused and tortured as much as the rest of the captors. But the NVA were careful not to let McCain die - he was worth far more to them alive than dead.
Upon release at the end of the war, McCain was a physical wreck. He could walk (barely), but never did regain the full use of his shoulder. Once he finished his stint in the Navy, he decided to try politics. Extremely popular in his homes state of Arizona, he had no trouble winning a Senate seat. And there he stayed until his death.
Besides the Forrestal controversy, his time in the Senate was laced with confusion as to where McCain stood on cornerstone issues. He was a registered Republican, yet often voted against his own party. Two of his BFF's in the Senate were Democrats - Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman.
McCain quickly gained the reputation of being a maverick - an uncertain vote on key issues. His last major vote in the Senate was a killer for the Trump Administration. His "thumbs down" vote on killing ObamaCare was the deciding vote which allowed ObamaCare to stay in place as of this day.
Here is how I will remember John McCain - and I have said this before. Even though he was often a disappointment to me with some of his votes in the Senate, his time as a POW cemented him as a hero of mine. I have read some things in the past on how he was treated. What he had to endure. Even though he had a father of high stature in the Navy, he wanted no better treatment than the rest while in captivity.
Some of my more conservative friends are not quite as forgiving to the Senator. Their vote is already in, and it is not good. But now John McCain is gone, and only his legacy remains. And how will that legacy read, once the historians get done with it? That is the $64,000 question.