Story by Sabrina Picou and photo by Alyssa Vega
On Saturday, August 25, former Arizona Senator and Vietnam War veteran John McCain died at his home in Arizona at the age of 81. McCain had been battling a brain tumor known as glioblastoma since 2017 and had been treating it with radiation and chemotherapy.
The veteran was continuously active in the Senate until his death as he continued to vote on bills such as voting against the Republican party decision to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
McCain was a prisoner of war in Hanoi Vietnam for five and half years when his Skyhawk dive bomber was shot down on Oct. 26. 1967 in Northern Vietnam. Many consider his survival a triumph and consider him to be a war hero. The veteran served his country for sixty years as a Captain in the Navy as well as having a successful political career as the senator for the state of Arizona. He also famously ran for President of the United States against Barack Obama in 2008.
Computer Security and Networking major, Robert Williams, shares his thoughts of how McCain’s life was the life of a hero. “He served his country and went through things that I couldn’t imagine going through and being able to come back from that and have a successful career as a politician is pretty credible,” Williams said.
Williams served in the Navy in San Diego, CA as an Aerographer’s mate and is currently taking classes in computer security and networking.
Entering the Senate in 1987, McCain played a prominent role in covering a number of issues over his 31 years as a Senator; political professor, Paul Savoie, discusses McCain’s legacy in American politics.
“His legacy is certainly a complicated one but in the eyes of many people, including a lot of Senators in both political parties, he is seen as being one of the last great lions of the Senate, someone who served for a very long time and someone who was very highly regarded by his colleagues,” Savoie said.
The former Senator did encounter harsh criticism during his political career for many decisions but regardless of those choices many still consider his service truly patriotic.
Associated Student Body Vice President of the LAC campus, Jaren Leary, expresses his admiration for the former veteran.
“Politicians are to serve the public and I feel like maybe some of our views might clash but he did his job to the best of his ability and he did his job right and he will be dearly missed,” Leary said.
There will be several memorial services from today until McCain’s burial on Sun. September 2 which will be a private ceremony held at the US Naval Academy’s cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.