June 18, 2008, Washington D.C.
MIA FAMILIES SPEAK-OUT ABOUT THEIR DECADES OF PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
WITH JOHN McCAIN AND HIS HYPOCRITICAL AND ONGOING BETRAYAL OF
John McCain is running on his “war
hero” status, but will a President McCain be accountable to future service
members, veterans and their families?
Some current veterans and their
families, including those of POW/ MIAs whom McCain betrayed and left in
captivity-- as well as his own record-- say, “NO!”
Senator John McCain is
running for president on his “war hero” status, while also being one of the most
vocal proponents for continued military occupation of Iraq and a potential new
war with Iran. Rather than helping other living veterans from all of America's
recent conflicts, and the families of existing POW / MIAs, McCain, since
entering Congress in 1982, has actively blocked their attempts to find justice
for themselves and their loved ones. This while he portrays himself as a
veterans' advocate, and while the U.S. media goes along with this
conference speakers include veterans of Senator McCain's formative generational
experience -- the Vietnam War. Also speaking will be families of
service members still listed as unaccounted POW/ MIAs of that war. For decades,
they have experienced Senator McCain's resistance to fully explore all possible
evidence regarding the fate of their loved ones. They have seem McCain actively
sabotage their attempts to find their loved ones and also their efforts to spare
other military families from experiencing the same heartache in the
also witnessed McCain exhibit volatile temper behind-the-scenes, including one
incidence of physical violence directed against the relative of a Vietnam MIA.
In their opinion, he has shown an utter lack of compassion toward many grieving
experiences with McCain make them question whether John McCain as Commander-
in-Chief is capable of being accountable for decisions he would have to make to
send future generations of young men and women into armed
conflict. Based on his record, they also question whether he has
the compassion to assure proper care for veterans and their families when they
suffer the consequences of war.
McCain worked behind-the-scenes to delete major provisions for protection of
MIAs in the Missing Personnel Act, part of the FY 1997 National Defense
Authorization Act. These provisions would have protected POW/ MIAs in the
A recent example of
McCain voting against veterans' interests was his vote against the
Senate-approved GI Bill S. 22. This bill provides education benefits to post
9/11 GIs. McCain's "no" vote drew criticism from America's largest veterans'
service organizations. He was among only 22 senators who voted against the
bill. Although the merits of the total bill can be debated, the reason McCain
gave for his "no" vote was that enhanced educational opportunities would cause
service personnel to drop out of the military, thus not enough service personnel
would be available to fight new wars.
The press conference is not
sponsored or funded by any political party or political special interests. The
speakers do not belong to any campaign-related veterans groups. They are simply
concerned for the well being of military service members and their families.
speakers and other veterans / family members will be available for follow-up
Al Santoli, three-time wounded
Vietnam combat Veteran, former congressional advisor, and NY Times best selling
author of “Everything We Had: An Oral History of the Vietnam
War.” Eleanor Apodaca, the sister of a MIA
Air Force pilot, and an Arizona constituent of John
McCain. Eleanor has had many interactions with the Senator about
Carol Hrdlicka, the wife of an Air
Force pilot who was photographed alive in captivity in Laos, but was not
returned. Carol has also interacted with Senator McCain about
Mike Benge, former POW from the
Mike, a recipient of the State Department's highest award for
heroism, retired in 2007 from USAID. He is a former US Marine and a leading
expert on human rights in Southeast Asia.
Wednesday, June 18,
2008, 2:30 to 3:30 PM.
529 14th Street NW, Washington D.C.