“I hope you guys are up for a fight. I hope you guys are game because I haven’t been putting up with 19 months of airplanes and hotel food and missing my babies and my wife – I didn’t put up for that stuff just to come in second,” he said. “I don’t believe in coming in second. The American people can’t afford for us to come in second.”
Conversely, John McCain put up with airplanes and less than perfect accommodations too. While flying his 23rd bombing mission over Vietnam, McCain was shot down and spent five and half years in the Hanoi Hilton. He could have checked out after two years, but he stayed an additional three years refusing to break faith with his brothers in arms.
I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralize my fellow prisoners. Our Code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down before me. I thought about it, though. I wasn’t in great shape, and I missed everything about America. But I turned it down.
A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. I’d been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after I’d been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.
When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn’t know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door, my friend, Bob Craner, saved me. Through taps on a wall he told me I had fought as hard as I could. No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for our country and for the men I had the honor to serve with. Because every day they fought for me.
I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.
Compare and contrast the two men, compare their words, contrast their actions. This choice isn't a hard one.