LIVONIA, Mich. (WSYM) - When news broke that Senator John McCain passed away, a Livonia woman broke down in tears. She felt a special bond with him because of what she did to stand up for her beliefs during the Vietnam War.
The woman who asked that we only call her Sandra, to protect her privacy, says she felt disturbed by the anger she witnessed towards servicemen during the Vietnam War.
She decided to take a stand. She heard that some students in California were selling bracelets with the names of prisoners of war on them. To show support, she bought one.
“I think there was a P.O. Box address where you could send money and then you received the bracelet in the mail,” said Sandra.
It was a simple act of patriotism. Sandra says John McCain’s name was on the bracelet that soon came in the mail. She wrote to his family to let them know she would be praying for him.
She followed his story, learning as a prisoner he had chances to return to the United States, but refused with honor.
“He honored the code of the first that is captured goes home first,” recalls Sandra. “He said there were other people who were in worse shape than him.”
When he finally did return home, she sent the bracelet to his family. He shocked her by writing her a letter to express his gratitude for her support.
“It is extremely gratifying to know that so many people here in America care,” Sandra said as she read the letter. “I wish I were able to personally shake hands with you. My family joins me in sending sincere thanks. God bless you. John McCain.”
Through the years she followed his career, serving our country. She didn’t always agree with him on political issues, but sincerely believed he wanted to do what was best for the United States of America. When she learned Senator McCain lost his battle with cancer she felt the loss.
“This man was a hero in this country,” said Sandra.
She says in his honor she is sharing her story, hoping to inspire others to stand up for what they believe and support our servicemen and women.