‘His love of country was tested,’ veteran says of John McCain’s war experience

Gavin Kenny is an Army veteran, and lost a brother in Iraq. He said he feels that McCain would be a similar president to George W. Bush, but he isn’t inspired by either candidate.

John Brouhard, a retired U.S. Army first sergeant, supports fellow Vietnam veteran John McCain is his bid for the presidency.

John McCain’s experiences more than qualify him to be president in the eyes of two veterans who also served in Vietnam.

And for a third veteran who served in Iraq, McCain’s experience and his politics make for an inner conflict.

“More than enough,” was John Brouhard’s response to the question about whether McCain’s experiences in uniform qualified him to be commander in chief.

McCain, a Navy pilot, was shot down over Hanoi and was held captive for nearly six years in North Vietnam.

Now a senator from Arizona, McCain was nominated Thursday night to be the Republican candidate for president.

“His love for country was tested” in ways that few have ever seen, said Brouhard, a retired first sergeant in the Army who served in Vietnam, who was at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1247 in Grand Junction.

Another Army veteran of Vietnam, William Burke, said McCain’s experiences qualify him for the presidency, especially today.

“McCain is one of the finest Americans that I know of,” said Burke, post quartermaster.

“The last thing we need in the Oval Office right now is a Democrat,” Burke said. “And I’m a Democrat.”

Even more conflicted was Gavin Kenny, an Army veteran whose brother, Capt. Christopher Kenny, died in action in Balad, Iraq, in 2004.

“I don’t want four more years of this administration,” Kenny said. “It’s time for a change.”

Still, he said, he’d be more confident of wartime decisions made by a president with wartime experience, such as that of McCain.

Democrat nominee Barack Obama hasn’t worn the uniform, but he represents the change Kenny craves.

“So, what to do?” Kenny said. “What to do?”


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