A Senator’s Story

Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with a primary glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. However, that has not stopped him from staying involved in politics, and keeping a positive outlook on his situation.

Meghan Tuzzolino, Columnist

John Sidney McCain was born at the Coco Solo Naval Station in Panama on August 29,1936. He was enrolled in the U.S Naval Academy in the mid 1950s, states Biography. McCain’s path was paved to go in the direction of the military, due to his father and grandfather’s previous graduation from the Naval Academy and service in the Navy as Four-Star Admirals. McCain graduated fifth from the bottom of his class, but nonetheless graduated, and was dispatched to Vietnam as a naval aviator.

However, this is only the beginning of his incredible story, which all started when he was shot down while on a bombing mission in the fall of 1967 over Hanoi, Vietnam. He was severely injured and taken as a prisoner of war (POW) by the North Vietnamese. He was kept as a POW for over 5 ½ years (1967-1973) and many of his current disabilities are as a result of the torture he endured while in captivity. These disabilities include his inability to raise his arms completely and the noticeable limp in his step due to the inadequate medical care he received on his shattered knee.

When he returned to the United States,his heroic actions did not go unrewarded nor unappreciated. After his release, McCain received the Silver Star Medal, the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Star Medals, another instance of the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Purple Heart Medal in appreciation and gratitude for his service, according to History.com. Although this important aspect of his life is rarely talked about anymore, it is important to recognize the significance of his actions, especially now as he has continued to serve his country, just through a political view.

In 1982, McCain was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, only one year after he retired from the U.S. Navy and moved to Arizona to enter the political realm. After serving two terms, he was elected into the U.S. Senate in 1987 and was re-elected five times. Although his tendencies to disagree with his party led to him being called a maverick, he always fought for what he believed was best. Since this is what McCain is most well known for, it isn’t shocking to see him keeping his active reputation up through staying involved with President Trump’s controversial statements and proposing new standards for the state of Arizona, and the United States in general, even with his recent cancer diagnosis.

Speaking of which, due to his recent brain cancer diagnosis in July of 2017, he has gone through multiple procedures and medicines in efforts to keep his aggressive cancer in check. His new movie, “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls,” named after his favorite book by Ernest Hemingway, goes into much greater detail about his cancer diagnosis, political decisions, and adulthood prior to his election.

Daughter Meghan McCain told Today Show reporters, “This is not the end for him,” stating that this is just another part of her father’s story and that she plans to see him beat cancer and return to his normal life. “Which can be a lesson to all of us,” she also told reporters, stating her father’s courage and bravery is at its highest due to the recent diagnosis, and that he is determined to beat cancer.

McCain has shown bravery throughout his life, and will continue to fight against cancer with that same determination, while living the rest of his life to the fullest.