Thursday, August 07, 2008

John McCain & my cousin

I read my local newspaper, The Cincinnati Enquirer, on the internet. Today, I saw a great story regarding my cousin, Janice Karl, and John McCain. During the Viet Nam war, people would wear bracelets with the names of men and women who were MIA's (Missing In Action). I remember my cousin wearing her bracelet, which had the name of an American prisoner of war, John McCain. My cousin kept that bracelet all these years. Last night, she got to give it back to him. Here's the story from

Janice Karl of Landen has waited more than 30 years to give something to John McCain - a POW bracelet bearing his name.

Today, when McCain, now the Republican candidate for president, comes to Four Bridges Country Club in Liberty Township for a campaign fundraiser, she will get that chance.

"I wore that bracelet for a long time and after he came home, I kept it in a box," Karl said.

"I always intended to return it to him but just never got around to it. Now I can."

Karl was one of millions of Americans in the early 1970s who obtained bracelets from a national POW/MIA organization. Each had the name of a prisoner of war or missing serviceman and the date he was captured or went missing.

Many of them have presented the returning POWs - or their surviving family - with the bracelets they wore to honor their sacrifice.

The bracelet Karl wore is etched with his name and rank - Lt. Cmdr. John McCain - and the date of his capture, Oct. 26, 1967.

McCain was a Navy aviator in October 1967 when his plane was shot down over North Vietnam.
McCain was badly injured in the crash and was held prisoner for the next 5½ years, during which time he was frequently tortured and beaten. He was released in March 1973.

Karl said she remembers watching the television reports when McCain arrived back in the U.S.
"I remember thinking how awful he looked," Karl said. She recently decided it was time to give the bracelet to the former POW. When she heard that McCain would be coming to the area today for a fundraiser, she began making calls to McCain's campaign and Senate offices to arrange to meet him.

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