John McCain and I were in Navy flight training at approximately the same time, but I didn’t know him then. Not until 2008, when I was writing the book Intrepid, did we become acquainted through correspondence. I knew that Intrepid was the first carrier McCain deployed on, and his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals, had been aboard her. I asked McCain if he’d be willing to write a foreword for the book. He immediately agreed.
And then weeks passed. No foreword. With a deadline from Random House looming, I nudged him. Was he close to having the foreword done? McCain apologized, saying that he’d been a bit busy. In case I hadn’t noticed, he was running for president.
A couple more weeks passed. Then I suggested that I give him a rough draft that he could amend as he saw fit. As an added inducement, I said, hell, I’ll even vote for you. We had a deal. A week or so later the foreword came back with a few editings and some beautiful paragraphs he’d added about his father and grandfather. McCain kept his word, and so did I.
Over the years I disagreed with probably half of John McCain’s positions. He was stubborn, contentious, funny, principled, idealistic, right on several critical issues, wrong on a few others. Above all else he was a supremely honorable American hero and patriot. I’m glad I voted for him. I wish I could again.