A Trip to Remember
During my time in the U.S. Senate, I served on the Armed Services Committee with Sen. John McCain. One of the great events in my life was being part of the first congressional delegation to Afghanistan three months after 9/11. The Arizona Republican led our group of nine US Senators as we met with leaders in the region, military personnel, wounded soldiers, and, generally, got a feel for the evolving situation we were having to deal with back home.
On the Senate Floor
Some months after our trip, I was making a speech on the floor of the Senate. At first, I thought he might want to take exception to something I had said. After all we were of different parties and didn’t always see eye to eye on policy.
John could be a man of few words, so I took what he told me that day to heart. He didn’t say whether he liked my speech, or not. He just looked me in the eye and said firmly: “If you ever have a reporter or someone at home, who wants to know how you’re doing up here, send them over to my office. I’d be glad to talk to them.” That was it. It was a most gracious offer and one that was very meaningful to me at the time.
The nation will miss his sense of duty, honor, and devotion. Only once in a lifetime do you meet a man of such grit and grace. I was blessed to know him briefly.
Rest in peace, old warrior.