His impetuous style however drove him in a series of aviation accidents that often caused the concern of his close ones. In this sense, he experienced three close calls from having a plane crash, once during practice run in Texas, the second time because of flying too low in Spain, and the third one in Virginia. Although these experiences point out a sense of carelessness, they are also relevant for a courageous and free spirit.
There are certain moments that are defining for establishing the true nature of one's character. Often these moments come at a time of great need and suffering and underline the best qualities in an individual. The early adulthood of John McCain was deeply marked by the war in Vietnam, as that of many young people in the 1970s America. Due to his abilities as a good aviator, he became involved in the war, motivated by his desire to fight for something he believed in, such as the cause for democracy in the world. In his views on the qualities of personalities of honor put together in a book entitled "Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember" he underlines precisely the need for believing and acting in the name of justice and righteousness. In his attempt, he describes the personality of Romeo Dallaire, the United Nations commander for the situation in Rwanda, the one who fought with every means available to try to ensure the safety of the Rwandan refugees in a crisis considered to be one of the most atrocious humanitarian crises the human kind experienced. This example is somewhat relevant for the idea of moral struggle and at times the frustration people experience when they lack the means to intervene or to change a state of fact. Although the Rwandan case is rarely seen as important as the Vietnam war due to the historical circumstances the former developed in, the parallel can be made in order to underline the way in which John McCain's own personal experience in Vietnam has made him think, analyze, and label the experience of Dallaire in that particular war theater.
By presenting the UN's official example in a discussion about righteousness, one can see his views on the notion and can associate the term with the actions McCain took during his own time of confusion in Vietnam. He is rather famous for his time in Vietnam particularly because of his five years imprisonment and his refusal to leave the place by compromising himself and his country. This comes to point out patriotism and the fight for a right cause can empower people. Thus, "we have to value our freedom. We have to love it, not for the ease or material riches it provides, not just for the autonomy it guarantees us, but for the goodness it makes possible. And we have to love it so much that we will not let it be constrained by fear. it's love, then, that makes courage necessary. And it's love that makes courage possible for all of us to possess. We must love freedom for the right reasons. and, on occasion, our love will need courage to survive, to insist on our freedom."
As part of his military accomplishments in the war, and part of the moral and patriotic attitude he presented, he was rewarded by his country with Meritorious Unit Commendation. He Becomes the U.S. Navy's liaison to the United States Senate and three years later he is promoted to Captain in the U.S. Navy.
His belief to help the nation, the community, and the family he was born in made him choose the path of politics. In this sense, "first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982, John has led the fight for reforming Washington, eliminating wasteful government spending, and strengthening our nation's armed forces." His political campaign can be said to have followed precisely the moral guidelines he believes in. More precisely, the reformation of the mechanisms in Washington point out to his idea that first and foremost, any politician and any aspiring political leader must cater for the internal situation in his own country because the well being of his nation stands on the well being of the population. This idea is supported in all of his writings. Thus, he argues that "few of us will fight in any kind of war. There's not much chance of truly big, historically important political conflict in this country, either. What do politicians fight about anymore? The size of tax cuts. What to spend our money on. These are the most common areas of domestic policy disagreements. We're all pretty much agreed on the big question-whether man is endowed by his Creator with certain inalienable rights and that just government is derived from the consent of the governed." Therefore, the politicians must have in mind and must cater for the needs of those who have agreed to entrust them with their right of decision.
This attitude of being democratically correct and defending the right to representativeness came as a result of the numerous examples he had throughout his life of lack of fairness and democratic instruments. In this sense, the world war he witness, particularly through the eyes of his father and grandfather, his time spent in the Naval Academy as being more the son of a respected admiral rather than a regular student, and particularly the time in Vietnam when he was subject to additional questioning because of his status as part of a renowned military family made him realize the importance of being fair and just, but most importantly of being driven by a supreme set of values and norms that form in the end the framework of one's character. Despite the hardships and trials to which life subjected him, he tries to follow his beliefs. This idea is relevant in the way in which he characterizes the most important civil rights fighter. Thus, "Better to suffer for a good cause than live safely without one. Dr. King's cause was the dignity of his race and the full realization of America's founding values. He is, rightly, held up as an exemplar of moral courage. He was a believer in nonviolence who had courage of conscience, the courage to resist repression, to live his moral code. He was murdered for his willingness to act on his beliefs, a fate many of his admirers believe he anticipated and must have feared. Yet fear did not restrain him." Nor anybody else should feel that restrain, according to McCain.
The experience of John McCain in Vietnam was a crucial moment in his life. He proved that the American spirit for freedom and justice is not merely a politically used speech. Despite the fact that the U.S. was eventually defeated by superior forces of men and history, McCain's mission at that time revealed the notion of an exceptional set of values and norms the U.S. tries to promote throughout the world. Indeed, there are numerous stories similar to that of McCain's; however, his also pointed out the qualities of a man that would later support a new quest for democracy, in another part of the world, Iraq.
The 9/11 events represented a milestone in the history of the United States. It showed the vulnerabilities of a nation that considered itself invulnerable. Despite the fear and disarray of the time, the response, particularly the subsequent quest for the perpetrators, showed a new side of courage. The stand McCain took on the issue of Iraq proved the fact that justice is not an arbitrary notion one can use if the conditions are favorable to a positive result. His belief is that without considering the results, one must fight and have the courage to stand up for his beliefs. Part of the education he received from his family that cherished a just moral code, and part of his experience in war zones, his belief stands clear: "Most of us accept social norms: that it's right to be honest, to respect the rights of others, to have compassion. But accepting the appropriateness of these qualities, wanting them, and teaching our children to want them aren't the same as actually possessing them. Accepting their validity isn't moral courage. How honest are we if we tell the truth most of the time & stay silent only when telling the truth might get us fired or earn us a broken nose? We need moral courage to be honest all the time." From this point-of-view, he considers honesty to be a universal asset, rather than a casual moral belief.
His entire military service as well as his family environment and background have helped John McCain consider the importance of values that go beyond the limited interest of the individual. The example of his father and grandfather showed him the need to believe in a cause that is beyond the national borders and crosses the worries…