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The Nurse Who Cared For John McCain in Vietnam Speaks Out

In McCain's stump speech, the words "I have the scars to prove it," are literally about his tussles on Capitol Hill, but are clearly meant to evoke his time as a POW. In the campaign spotlight, the history of those five-and-a-half years is revealing itself. We've seen the cell John McCain was kept in, and heard the endorsement from his former captor, now the nurse who risked her safety to care for McCain right after he crashed in Vietnam 41 years ago, speaks out. Here's what she had to say:

Why she decided to care for McCain:
"I didn't know who he was, but he was obviously not Vietnamese. The pilot was not that big and heavy, he was pale and handsome. My responsibility was to care for my own countrymen only. But [North Vietnamese leader] Ho Chi Minh advised people to show compassion and to save the enemies. So I told myself that I had to fulfill my duty."

The consequences she faced:
"That evening, when I left the clinic, an old man came to me and yelled at me for 'caring for an enemy'. I told him I just did what Ho Chi Minh asked all of us to do."

To see if she thinks McCain should be president,


Should McCain be president?
"Will it be good for Vietnam if John McCain becomes president? I don't really know. He is friendly and he has done some good things for the Vietnamese, but it is difficult to predict the future."

How about Obama?
"As for Barack Obama, I don't think he has any ties with Vietnam. People say he doesn't know much about the country, but a clean slate can be a good thing."

Her final piece of advice:
"If American people are wise, they will choose someone who loves peace, who is engaged in war prevention activities."

It's a compelling sentiment from someone all too familiar with the horrors of war.


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