A Chance to Right a Wrong in November
July 23, 2020
To the Editor:
In October 1967 Navy aviator Lt. Cmdr. John S. McCain III was shot down during a bombing mission over North Vietnam. At that same time Donald J. Trump was claiming service exemption because of a condition he called heel spurs.
For almost six years McCain wasted away in North Vietnamese prisons, subject to daily torture, starvation and deprivation. Living in luxury in New York City, Trump caroused around and claimed that avoiding venereal disease was his Vietnam test.
One of the most brutal tortures McCain endured was being hoisted by his arms, tied behind his back, from rafters in the prison, an agony that would affect him for the rest of his life. For 50 years the rafter torture rendered him unable to lift his arms high enough to comb his hair.
After being released from captivity and returning to civilian life, McCain continued to serve his country as a senator from Arizona and conservative Republican presidential candidate.
During his campaign and later as president, Trump took numerous opportunities to laugh at and belittle the service of McCain. He used the White House soapbox to smear a modern American hero. McCain deserved better.
Americans will have an opportunity at November’s election to right a wrong by sending Trump, and his smears and heel spurs, down to defeat and consignment to the dustbin of history.
Capt. James E. Wentz, USN (Ret)
Morrisons Cove Historian