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Author Topic: Human Life is Fragile but EVERY Life is Valuable  (Read 12402 times)

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Did military people think it was funny or clever when Trump 🦀 said he prefers people who don’t get captured when asked about Senator John McCain?

Ron Wagner, Former USAF pilot in the Presidential Wing at Andrews AFB. Former airline pilot.
Updated Jan 6 · Upvoted by Steve Traugott, Former Staff Sergeant, Crew Chief, USAF and Don Harper, former US Military Combat Veteran-5 Tour at The United States of America (1978-2005)

Here is my “two cents worth,” although my personal stories about John McCain and other POWs might be worth a nickel or a dime.


When the Vietnam POWs were released they were given huge priority in selecting their next assignments. That was a superb idea considering that their previous military duties over the past six to eight years had been as bad as it gets.

Many of them chose to fly in the Presidential Wing at Andrews AFB, so I got to train and fly with a lot of them. They survived inhumane, unbelievable torture. Not one of them was, nor will they ever be, perfectly all right.

And yet, I don’t know much about what they experienced because they rarely talked about it. I mostly picked up on symptoms. Let me give two examples.


One POW pilot in my squadron was a Major who had his uniforms tailor made and kept them crisp and perfect. You might think a tailor-made USAF uniform wouldn’t look different, but he was one sharp-dressed man. He looked perfect all the time because he would never again wear sloppy, ill-fitting clothing.

And when it came time to find a restaurant when we were out on an overnight mission, he had only one criterion for choosing one: it had to have carpeting. It was a little quirk of his that he had experienced enough meals on concrete floors that he wanted to dine on carpeting for the rest of his life.


And then there’s the Captain, whom I think about most times that I turn on the shower water to let it warm up. It’s pretty strange, but it’s the truth: in 40 years, I have taken few showers without thinking about the story I’m going to relate.

The Captain told me showers were mandatory every couple of days—under pain of torture if they refused—until the temperature got down to 5 degrees C, which is 41 degrees F. Next time you take a shower, turn on the “cold” water and let it run for two minutes so that the warm 72-degree water in your pipes is gone and you get the 56-degree cold water that comes into your home. Now step under it and see how long you last. Your bathroom is 72 degrees and the “cold” water is around 56 degrees. Trust me, you will think it hurts. Try to imagine being outdoors at 42 degrees, with 42 degree water, and possibly some wind blowing.

Now choose: take that shower, or take a severe beating—whichever one you prefer.

When the POWs landed in Hawaii on their way back, they all took long hot showers, some stood in the shower for up to two hours. Think about that.


I hope this next thing comes across as the profound compliment I intend it to be.

At the end of my USAF pilot training, we went through two weeks of ground survival training. Three days of it was being locked up in a mock POW camp. And when I say “mock” you cannot imagine how mock it was. It was on an active USAF base, so we were safe. The “guards” were active duty enlisted airmen who were in no way going to truly harm an officer. They were given permission to make us hurt, but they had special techniques that did no harm. In other words, suffering was not even a remote possibility for us.

And the really big deal about it was that it lasted just three days, then they’d open the gates and we’d go for a big, hot meal. Then back to our rooms for hot showers and fresh clothes.

And yet, I will tell you I was terrified. It was horrible. It was demeaning.

And we never had to take a shower outdoors on a cold day with cold water.

My conclusion from that experience is that I truly cannot imagine enduring a real POW camp for a totally unknown length of time—never knowing when you would get out—and having real guards, and enduring torture that would leave you scarred for life. My little taste of it gave me enormous respect for the men who I would soon be training and flying with at Andrews.


McCain returned to take command of a Naval flight training squadron, so as a USAF pilot I would normally have never flown with him. But within about two years he became the Navy’s liaison to the US Senate. He worked directly with Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. In about 1977–78 I flew out to Phoenix to pick up Goldwater and bring him home to Andrews. McCain was at his side.

About halfway across the country, I sent my copilot back to the passenger seats and put McCain in the right seat and let him fly, including a night landing at Andrews. He did great and Goldwater gave him a “thumbs up.”

McCain had been famous as a POW, for reasons made clear in many other answers here, so I knew about him. He suffered more than most of them due to his father being an Admiral in the Navy. We never discussed it.


And Donald Pu**y-Grabbing Trump had the classless gall to say McCain wasn't a hero. I’d love to make Trump choose between taking a shower outdoors on a windy, 42-degree day, with 42-degree water, and a severe beating. Can I get a volunteer in case he refused to take the shower?!?! 👍👍👍

I can’t believe you even wrote “funny or clever” in your question.

Trump has no clue at all what it’s like to serve one’s country. McCain has served far, far more than almost anyone who hasn’t died in the line of service.

And we know how Trump treats the Gold Star families. Amazingly, more than 80% of Republicans approve of the job Trump is doing. What would it take for them to disapprove?

There is nothing “funny or clever” about Trump, and his moronic comments about John McCain are just one small example.

386.3k views  You upvoted this Anthony G. Gelbert

Chris Skuller
Oct 30, 2017 · 1,543 upvotes including Ron Wagner
Yeah. Although I can create a list 10 pages long condemning the current Republican party, it’s their approval of Trump despite his disrespect of McCain and Gold Star Families that really shows their true colors. I find it especially telling when they about NFL players kneeling during the Anthem being (somehow) disrespectful to the flag and enlisted soldiers, all the while approving of a President (currently 80% approval rating from Republicans) who has said such awful things. It disgusts me.

Edit: Since I wrote this back in October of 2017, I have seen a bunch more “true colors” moments from the current administration.


Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11


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