John Sidney McCain was born on August 29, 1936 at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone, Panama (while the Panama Canal was under the United States control). His parents were naval officer John S. McCain (1911-1981) and Roberta McCain. He had an older sister Sandy and a younger brother named Joe.
John McCain and his family moved to Virginia in 1951. He went to a private preparatory boarding school named Episcopal High School. He was great at wrestling and he graduated from high school in 1954.
After high school, John McCain joined the United States Naval Academy like his father and grandfather. He befriended many people and was a great role model. McCain didn’t always follow all the rules but did well in classes he liked such as literature and history but barely passed the ones that were more difficult for him. John McCain graduated from the academy in 1958.
On the third of July in 1965, McCain married Carol Shepp, a woman from Philadelphia. They had a daughter together, Sidney. He also adopted her two children Douglas and Andrew.
In summer of 1967, during the Vietnam War, thirty-year-old John McCain requested a combat assignment. He was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal flying A-4 Skyhawks. On July 29, 1967, John McCain was almost killed by a lieutenant commander when he was near the middle of the Forrestal fire. He was lucky enough to escape from his burning jet and tried to save a fellow pilot when suddenly a bomb exploded. McCain was hit in the legs and chest by debris from the explosion. The fire took twenty-four hours to tame and killed 134 sailors. Sometime after, McCain volunteered with another aircraft carrier and was going to be awarded with the Navy Commendation Medal. He also received the Bronze Star for his missions flown over North Vietnam.
On October 26, 1967, John McCain was doing a bombing mission over North Vietnam when his Skyhawk was shot down by a missle. McCain injured both arms and a leg and nearly drowned when he landed in the Truc Bach Lake. He was pulled ashore and imprisoned by the soldiers of Vietnam at the Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi. Even though McCain was badly injured, his capturers wouldn’t treat him and tortured him to get information. When the North Vietnamese found out that his father was a top admiral, he was finally give medical treatment. McCain spent a month and a half in the hospital receiving care. After his six weeks of treatment, he was sent to another camp in Hanoi in December of 1967. He stayed in a cell with to other Americans who thought he would die within a week. He was moved again in March of 1968 into solitary confinement. He would remain there for two years.
In 1968, McCain was made commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theatre and was offered an early release by the North Vietnamese. McCain turned down their offer because he would only leave if every man being held hostage before him was released along with him. In August of 1968, John McCain started receiving rope bindings and constant beatings every two hours while suffering from dysentery. In summary, McCain was prisoner of war for five and a half years and was released on March 14, 1973.
When John McCain returned to the United States, he received treatment for his injuries and months of painful physical therapy. In 1976, he was named commanding officer of a training squadron located in Florida. During his time in Florida, the McCain’s marriage began to fall apart. John McCain met Cindy Lou Hensley, a Phoenix, Arizona teacher, in April of 1979 and began dating her. He wanted a divorce from his wife Carol and eventually she did in February of 1980. McCain and Cindy married on May 17, 1980.
McCain decided to leave the navy. He had a better chance of being promoted to rear admiral but his decision was made. He wanted to run for Congress and believed he could do more good there. After leaving the military, he moved to Arizona. While in Phoenix, McCain was given a job at Hensley & Co., which was his new father-in-law’s beer distributorship.
John McCain and Cindy had their first daughter, Meghan in 1984. Then in 1986, John Sidney McCain IV, and in 1988, James came along. In 1991 they were joined by an abandoned three-month-old baby girl who needed medical treatment. They named her Bridget.
In 1987, John McCain became Senate of Arizona after beating his opponent Richard Kimball.
Today, John McCain is our states Senator and previously was the republican’s nominee for the presidential election of 2008. He is a great man known for his courage and never-ending love for America.