McCain: In Ordeal as Captive, Character Was ShapedBreaking News
Hanoi and Vietnam have changed dramatically since the war with the United States ended 33 years ago. But for the Republican presidential nominee, the 5 1/2 years he spent as a prisoner of war had an indelible impact, not just because of the terrible injuries he suffered but because of how the ordeal shaped his worldview.
In hushed conversations with his fellow POWs four decades ago, he developed firm beliefs about how the United States should use its military power, lessons that he has sought to apply to the more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His resistance of his captors -- especially his refusal to accept an offer that would have freed him before his comrades -- forged his character, taught him the meaning of honor and, eventually, launched him on a meteoric political career.