On the 50th anniversary of his plane being shot down in Vietnam, Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) on Thursday tweeted out a short video recounting his experience as a prisoner of war and commemorating his service to the United States.
At the time, McCain was serving in the Navy as a lieutenant commander in the Vietnam War when his plane was shot down. McCain was captured by northern Vietnamese soldiers and taken to a prison war camp, where he was tortured and almost killed.
"Hard to believe 50 years ago today my plane was shot down in Vietnam," McCain tweeted along with the video. "The honor of my life was to serve in the company of heroes in Vietnam."
Hard to believe 50 years ago today my plane was shot down in Vietnam. The honor of my life was to serve in the company of heroes in Vietnam. pic.twitter.com/UhKff5HYzP
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) October 26, 2017
A fellow prisoner of war, Col. Tom Moe, witnessed much of what McCain endured and recounts in the video what the now-senator experienced during his time at what they referred to as the Hanoi Hilton.
The video also highlights how McCain refused an early release after his father was named commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific. He refused release unless every other American captured before him was also freed.
"I'm probably the luckiest person you will ever interview. I survived many near death experiences," McCain says in a clip from 2003 put in the video. "I played a very small role in our country's great story, and so I think that I'm really the most fortunate person that I've ever known or heard of, and truly blessed."
McCain was diagnosed with a progressive form of brain cancer in July and continues to serve as the senior senator from Arizona. He also serves as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.