Wednesday, December 4, 2019

One Mans Struggle To Stay Alive Essays - , Term Papers

One Man's Struggle To Stay Alive One Man's Struggle to Stay Alive Over the years John Sidney McCain, the white haired Senator from Arizona has survived many things. He has endured three plane crashes, a firestorm at sea, and a North Vietnamese prison camp, to emerge as a major player in the national political scene. The Vietnam War had a significant impact on Senator McCain. McCain spent five and a half years in North Vietnamese prisons, thirty-one months in solitary and was brutally tortured. Yet, almost immediately upon his release in 1973, he began putting Vietnam behind him. This lighthearted man has rarely lost sight of what he has called ?the shadow of Vietnam? (Timberg 12). Due to his continuing contributions to the United States, John McCain has become a true American hero and would make an excellent president for our country. . John McCain grew up in a family rich with Navy heritage. John McCain's grandfather was one of the navy's greatest commanders and led the strongest aircraft carrier force of the Third Fleet. McCain's father who was a submarine commander during World War II was equally distinguished by heroic service in the navy. Both McCain's father and grandfather rose to the rank of four-star admiral, making the McCain's the first family in American history to achieve that distinction. John McCain III followed in his grandfather and father's footsteps when he entered the U.S. Navy Academy in 1951. McCain struggled during his four years at the academy, but in June 1954, he graduated with 899 other young men. The Class of '58 had been whittled down by 25 percent. Of the 899 who endured the four years at the U.S. Navel Academy, John McCain was one of them, standing fifth from the bottom. The Navel Academy was very rigid for McCain, but even as a teenager, he showed presidential traits, perseverance b eing one of them. This feature is extremely important for John McCain if he wants to be the man to lead our country. John McCain continued to press on and in August 1958, McCain reported to flight school at Pensacola were he would begin his Navy career. Little did McCain know that his quick thinking would be tested not just once, but three times during his flying. One Saturday morning, as McCain was practicing landings, his engine quit and his plane plunged into Corpus Christi Bay. McCain survived with minor injuries but that would be his first of many brushes with death (Norman). The fall of 1965, John McCain had his second encounter with death where again, his quick thinking would save him. He was flying solo to Philadelphia to watch the Army-Navy game when his engine died. At one thousand feet, he ejected, landing on a deserted beach moments before the plane slammed into a clump of trees. McCain's perseverance and quick thinking has been tested and both times, he has shown true leadership qualities that every president needs (Norman). Once again, John McCain's skills would be tested. On July 29, 1967, he was where he wanted to be, on the flight deck of a Navy Aircraft. Before taking off to bomb Hanoi, McCain was going through his preflight checks, when a stray voltage from his plane blew apart the exterior fuel tank on McCain's bomber. Two hundred gallons of highly flammable gas streamed onto the flight deck engulfing everything in its path. McCain still strapped in the cockpit of his plane was surrounded in a gulf of flames. McCain, quickly jumping out of his plane onto the flight deck, escaped just before the burning fuel set fire to his plane. When it was all over, 134 men were dead, missing, or injured. McCain and the other pilots in his squadron lost all hope in fighting the Vietnam War. All hope was restored when another Air Carrier had been losing pilots and where looking for volunteers to fill the ranks. John McCain signed on to the new squadron (Timberg). John McCain's new assignment had finally come on October 26, 1967, when he took flight to Vietnam to bomb a power plant in Hanoi. Little did McCain know that Hanoi was now more heavily defended against air attacks than any other city

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