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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.


lem0n_ lem0n_ 8 years
woa, that lake where he parachuted into is right close to my grandparents' old house, I used to live there!!!! that's kind of... amazing...
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
This is a cute story! Mykie- what job exactly is Colin Powell trying to keep? He's retired from political service, and he's been retired for several years. He currently tours the US giving motivational speeches and serves as a spokesperson for National Mentoring Month. I don't think he had to endorse Obama to continue those activities. Maybe you are thinking of someone else?
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
Watch it Bri! LOL
Briandiesel Briandiesel 8 years
Thats an interesting story. She seems like an amazing woman. Surprised that McCain doesnt pull her up to the podium and make her talk. :P Mykie, that was for you. lol
tiabia tiabia 8 years
She sounds like a wonderful person!!! Soldiers don't always make the best leaders. Many dictatorships arose through military leadership.
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
Colin Powell is bitter and trying to keep his job. His endorsement doesn't mean squat to me. I would so much rather have someone in office the knows how war feels, what is expected, what can happen, than someone that is wet behind the ears with NO knowledge of how to protect this country at all. But, I have every faith that there are more people who support McCain than Obama and are just being quiet about it. I am not worried.
Shadowdamage Shadowdamage 8 years
I understand your feeling, Lauren, but if Obama is good enough for General Colin Powell's backing I am sure he can handle the tough situations that will inevitably arise.(Given Powell's military expertise and experience, particularly as it relates to recent events, I think this is something to remember. I may have disagreed with him on the war but he was the only one of the "Rumsfeld pack" with a lick of damn sense and they managed to ignore most of it.) I don't thin its just military experience that renders someone worthy of making executive-level military decisions. Its also about temperament and wisdom - about understanding the implications of the choices from all sides, and not being too arrogant to listen to your most skilled and experienced advisors on a given subject, and THEN posessing the judgement and strength of character to make your final deliberations carefully before ordering American citizens to risk life and limb in the name of their country, knowing full well some will not come home again. If it was just a matter of military experience..well...I got two words for you: "Lynndie England."
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
Perhaps McCain will be compassionate towards vietnam :shrug:. Also, what is McCain's view on the war? I know he does not condone unnecessary military action having been there and done that, so maybe he can come up with a way to get out of IRaq and Afghanistan. Also--- What is Obama's military experience. With a husband's life on the line, it really scares me to imagine him as commander in chief. Sarah Palin scares me more though, so my vote goes to the big O.
Calimie Calimie 8 years
Very interesting. I was afraid it would go like: "I nursed him ages ago and for that sole reason he should be president". She was very brave then. "If American people are wise, they will choose someone who loves peace, who is engaged in war prevention activities." I hope Americans can hear you.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Handsome indeed. I sometimes forget how hot he was when he was younger! I also liked the way she answered the questions. Very graceful.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
Great article!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
What a sweet little pumpkin. This also brings to mind the bowl of pickled catfish head soup I had at a Vietnamese restaurant Mmm Mm Good.
em1282 em1282 8 years
Classy and very diplomatic with her answers. The 'pale and handsome' comment was cute, too.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
This women is an inspiration, love the article!
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
Great article! :)
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
I find John McCain's who POW story very inspiring. I like seeing that he was surrounded by people who rose above the situation as well.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I like the classy and tactful way she answered the questions about the two candidates.
brindey brindey 8 years
She sounds like such a beautiful person.
stephley stephley 8 years
"If American people are wise, they will choose someone who loves peace, who is engaged in war prevention activities." Hmmm
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