Remembering McCain


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.