The hero label is possibly the most ambiguous term in the English language. Recently I mentioned in a speech to some fellow Republicans that Thomas Edward Lawrence, Dian Fossey, and Paul David Wellstone were my heroes only to have the expressions of those in attendance change from being interested to being indifferent. And things quickly went from bad to worse as questions started arriving like flaming arrows. "Wasn't this Lawrence an alcoholic and Arab lover?" "Exactly what makes a person a hero who chooses to live with apes instead of humans?" "Wellstone! You've got to be kidding. He was a Jew who voted against the invasion of Iraq." I waited until these people were satisfied they had set me straight as to who was and who wasn't a hero.
Then I said, "You've made it clear that you do not care from my heroes. Now let me make it clear that I don't care for one of your heroes. "Guys like John McCain and I are not heroes. We flew into a country that wasn't attacking the United States and needlessly murdered innocent people. Case in point: Americans are now being treated better in Hanoi than they are in many U.
S. cities. Furthermore, I suspect that I know McCain better than anyone in this building. "While I was a patient at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, Senator McCain explained to me that the source of my anger was being abandoned by my fellow Americans after being shot down twice in Vietnam (quite a revelation). That he, too, was still mad as hell at Americans for leaving him to rot in a POW camp for years while they listened to psychedelic music, wore flowers in their hair, and partied (Guess I'm a hippie at heart because I thought these people were really neat. Love, not war, is a pretty good mindset in my opinion).
"I listened in disbelief as McCain informed me that he had to choose between dying or talking; and since Americans didn't give a damn about him, he didn't give a damn about them. He even confessed rather boldly being nicknamed "Songbird" because of his willingness to tell his captors even more than they asked for. This is a flagrant violation of Article III of the United States Code of Military Conduct which states, If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy. "While it was a difficult moment for me, I was pleased McCain had, unlike me, gotten it together after returning home.
Frankly, I didn't believe the "Songbird" story until many years later when I heard esteemed author Gore Vidal allude to it. In 2003 I started promoting McCain for president. But I was wrong; this guy is still filled with hate, and it's not the Iraqis, Iranians or North Koreans he hates." The last few sentences were heard only by the walls. It was not you Mr. Lawrence, Miss Fossey, and Mr.
Wellstone, it was my timing. This is an election year and false pride flows like Iguazu Falls.
Author Bob Miller served as a pilot in Vietnam in 1968-69. He was shot down twice and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. Miller, challenged Richard Shelby for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1992. Seven books authored, his bestsellers are: RV, and Kill Me If You Can. He produced the television show, The Late Show. Bob has traveled the world over as a golf instructor and golf ambass