Donal Trump wrote on a FB that he respects our service members and ones that weren't POW's. How is a man that is running for president going to say that? I mean I'm happy to know that he speaks his mind and all but even still that's a major hit to soilders that fight on a day to day basis.
First of all we should all shut up until we define the word "hero". Using the strictest definition of the word as it is understood militarily, a hero is someone, with disregard for his own safety, who does an act above and beyond his duty which results in the saving of another's life or limb or in the saving of property or equipment necessary on the battlefield during a conflict. Medals are usually awarded for these "specific" actions. Now using any definition similar to that one, John McCain is no hero. In the loosest sense of the word all military and even non-military participants in combat are hero's. That's where John McCain fits. Now, I am a Marine veteran of the Viet Nam conflict. I was a "grunt" or infantry soldier in the field. I will be the first to tell you that among the foot soldiers there is a common feeling that fighter pilots, while we loved to see them show up to support us during operations in the field, were "part time" warriors. After all they were here for a brief time then went home to a hot meal and a warm clean bed. We hardly regarded them as hero's. As for the POW part, there is a difference. If all pow's are hero's then so are all grunts. A POW was certainly subject to torture and horrid, in some cases, living conditions. However, to the best of my knowledge, no POW was ever executed. Some did die of injuries suffered before capture or disease while in custody. Even the torture was limited to mental pressures after a while because valuable intelligence had time sensitive use and had to be obtained quickly. This is especially true in Viet Nam as opposed to WW2. I spoke to a POW once who told me that after a while he, in some strange sense, was relieved to be in captivity because he no longer feared the daily presence of death while still in the field. So, depending on your definition of hero, what Trump said was true in the strictest sense of the word and as a soldier who has a clear view of combat I am not offended in anyway by that statement. I am satisfied with my status, properly defined, as a "hero".