May 27, 2024

Not the total picture

I take exception to the Nov. 19 letter, “No friend of military,” about Sen. John McCain, which stated “surrendering is not something to brag about.” I’ve never heard, nor read Sen. McCain brag about it. He was captured; he did not surrender.

Taken from the POW Network: “As McCain rolled into his dive, his aircraft was observed by his wingman to take a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire and to burst into flames. McCain was able to eject from his crippled aircraft. He was captured immediately. McCain was severely injured, having broken both arms and his right leg.”

Additionally, the letter writer said he is part of a military family. He should be proud of that, but he is not truly a part of the military family BDN columnist Sarah Smiley writes about. That family lives and breathes it 24 hours a day, and moves every two years or so to accommodate transfers and suffers through the separation and anxiety those transfers generate. My wife and children were just such a military family for 20-plus years of my 28-year Navy career.

Although a lot of folks misunderstood what Ms. Smiley wrote, I did not. As military folks, our bosses change every four years or so. Policies shift and those shifts affect them much more directly than you or I. It is the unknown shift that is distressing. While I truly admire and respect Sen. McCain, his military service is only a part of who he is. After much thought, it was the totality of his platform that led me not to vote for him.

John Bruneel


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