While not everybody — including Republicans — loved the late Sen. John McCain’s politics, there is one part of his life that should be hard not to respect, for folks on both sides of the political aisle.
John McCain spent more than five years as a POW (prisoner of war) during the Vietnam War. Following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps, McCain joined the Navy — he graduated the Naval Academy in 1958 — and became a naval aviator (McCain is shown in the images above during that time period).
He ended up flying carrier-based attack planes over Vietnam during the war. Unlike many, McCain volunteered for combat duty.
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The senator-to-be was shot down in October of 1967 over Hanoi and captured by the North Vietnamese.
The story of McCain’s service to his country was told through his own words in the 1999 book “Faith of My Fathers,” which was later turned into a 2005 television movie starring Shawn Hatosy (“Southland,” “John Q.”) as a young McCain.
The movie also starred Scott Glenn (“The Silence of the Lambs,” “The Hunt for Red October”) as Jack McClain, John’s military father, who was a great influence on the future politician.
The film, like the book, explored the five and a half years McCain was held captive in Vietnam. Scenes of torture and perseverance are interwoven with flashbacks to an upbringing in which service and patriotism were instilled into a young McCain by a military-heavy family — both his father and grandfather were four-star admirals in the Navy.
“Faith of My Fathers” is a patriotic film full of salutes to the military, faith, family values, and the power of the human spirit. It may have been relegated to television when it was first unleashed, but it’s a worthy film with an amazing and inspirational true story at its core.
It’s also a wonderful nod to the life of McCain, a man who was dedicated to his country and his beliefs, whether people were at odds with those beliefs or not. The latter is really beside the point when one takes into account the fact that his dedication came from a military service matched by few others in American history.
McCain followed up his memoir with two sequels — the second of which was published this year. Though there were never any more scripted movies made about the man’s life, the public should be grateful that “Faith of My Fathers” exists. It puts McCain’s service on the silver screen, where it can live forever.
His dedication came from a military service matched by few others in American history.
In light of the senator’s passing and as the tributes, discussions and debates pour in about his life and his time serving our country, it’s not a bad idea to check out “Faith of My Fathers” to get a glimpse of what the man went through in the name of service, patriotism and devotion to the nation.
Watch a powerful clip from the movie below:
You can find home video copies of “Faith of My Fathers” on Amazon.