• October 2007: He didn't vote on another version of the Defense Authorization Act, which included billions of dollars in funding for veterans healthcare services.

• February 2006: He voted against the amendment proposed by Christopher Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, which would have appropriated the aforementioned $1 billion for hospital improvements at places like Walter Reed and also included: $14 billion for the Veterans Benefits Administration for Compensation and Pensions for 2006-2010; and $6.9 billion for the VA for medical care for 2006-2010.

• November 2005: He voted against an amendment that would've provided $500 million each year from 2006 to 2010 for "readjustment counseling, related mental health services, and treatment and rehabilitative services for veterans with mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or substance use disorder."

Iraq veteran Andrew Vera
Jamie Peachey
Iraq veteran Andrew Vera
His fame’s based on his POW status, but
Senator John McCain’s made a point of voting against fellow veterans.
Associated Press
His fame’s based on his POW status, but Senator John McCain’s made a point of voting against fellow veterans.

• October 2005: McCain voted against an amendment that would've required that funding for the VA health administration be increased each year to adjust for inflation and the number of veterans served.

• March 2004: He voted against closing tax loopholes to create a reserve fund to allow for an increase in medical care for veterans by $1.8 billion.

Perhaps McCain simply considers his votes against veterans another sign of his maverick status — a classic case of his personal brand of political chutzpah, because every politician knows sucking up to the vets is a foolproof way to curry favor.

During the Keating Five hearings, McCain's then-Arizona Senate colleague and fellow Keating Fiver, Democrat Dennis De­Concini, actually called an Arizona veteran to testify on his behalf, describing all the help DeConcini's office had given him over the years, as an example of positive work on behalf of a constituent.

That's not McCain's style, particularly post-Keating Five. He has abandoned constituent services for the national stage, and it could be called principled if not for his back-pedaling. This isn't a guy who's shown veterans a lot of love, despite what he says.

The whole scenario has given McCain an Achilles' heel.

Far be it from anyone who hasn't been through what he's been through to question the senator's patriotism. But in this case, he's running up against people with similar biographies who are questioning him, particularly his loyalty to them.

Like Constantine O'Neill. He spent 22 months in a German prison camp during World War II. At 88, O'Neill is admittedly very emotional about veterans issues, and a lifelong Democrat. He made headlines recently in Arizona for lambasting Republican Congressman John Shadegg after Shadegg used O'Neill's image in a campaign ad.

"McCain is, as far as I'm concerned, a jackass. He's not for the veterans. He never has been for the veterans [in] legislation that he's gone for . . . I would not recommend him for anything to anybody."

When O'Neill is questioned, though, it's not so much that McCain has voted against veterans, or even that the senator's a Republican. It's that McCain hasn't come calling. For years, O'Neill says, the national POW group he belongs to has invited McCain to speak at its annual convention.

"He never does," the other former POW says. "He's too busy."


On a recent Friday afternoon at the Justa Center, almost every seat in the house is taken. One woman sleeps sitting up, a half-full plastic cup of water in her hand.

Ralph Holland, 61, is there. He's waiting to hear about his VA benefits. Gray-haired, in a baseball cap, with tattoos for his Navy service and his daughter's duty in the Marine Corps, Holland served two tours of duty in Vietnam but waited until he broke his hand many years later to go to the VA.

For a long time, he didn't want to admit that he'd been to Vietnam — he figured everyone would think him a baby-killer or a drug addict. But now Holland's down on his luck, so he's put in for some help. The only program the VA has available, he says, is for vets with substance-abuse issues, one of the few problems that Holland doesn't have.

He figures it will be a while — if ever — before he gets help from the VA.

"Their way is to put you off until you either die or go away," he says. "That's the consensus of just about every vet I've talked to."


Read decades of coverage in Vintage McCain.

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10 comments
rejco
rejco

John McCain is as DIRTY as politicians come...

Nikodisias Papalapsuslos
Nikodisias Papalapsuslos

YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

What do you mean tragedy! It was just a birthday present for planet apes president !!! That's all ! Feels great to flip hamburgers and hip hop atop of good news...makes you feel vibrant and energized !!!

ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" CASH & $$ FLASH MOB (there was no shooting in Utoya or Arizona, but tear gas and theater instead on faces of multiculturalism maniacs..your guilt or blame and shame weapon against us and our families in our own countries atop of forceful unemployment during so called "ECONOMIC CRISES" during which third world foreigners are allowed to rape, kill, and still is nothing else but fast way to early retirements for government related criminals/ terrorists...$$$ extra bonuses, and newly issued state identities while calling you a terrorists) !!! http://stateofterror.blogspot.... or http://stateofterror.wordpress...

OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c... or http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.... Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ...YESSS, WE CAN...YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (Obaminator’s psychotic speech in Tucson = failed “Apocalypse Now“)

WAKE-UP !!! WAKE UP PEOPLE BEFORE IT GETS ALL TO LATE ON PLANET APES !!! TEARS WON'T DO YOU ANY GOOD !!! AS BUSH STATED "THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR"(to die ) !!

EVEN IF IRAQ WOULD HAVE BEEN WAR FOR OIL ONLY, VETERANS WOULDN'T NEVER EVER HAVE TO BE HOMELESS PEOPLE THE WAY THEY ARE AND NOR WOULD OUR PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE ALLOVER THE PLACE THE WAY THEY DO TO VERY TODAY(never ending “war on terror” story). BECAUSE EVEN IF WAR WAS FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY, MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS AND NOT WHAT THE CASE IS OR AGAINST WHITES(to destroy us allover the world) !!! You don't really proof for 911, just put your sht together in your heads...THIS IS PLENTY ENOUGH TO HAVE O(B)SAMA INDICTED FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE AMERICAN HUMANITY TOGETHER WITH HIS ZIONIST MASTERS) !!!

Don't worry O(s)bama, you have just saved USA what is lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS as those best of America or Navy Seals would also grew older and then you already know how it goes...DEAD & ILL = DEBT DEAL !!!

HOW MUCH FURTHER ARE WE WILLING TO GO IN ORDER TO PLEASE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO DENY US EVEN THE RIGHT TO EXISTENCE(what is to you country without laws or lawless country in respect to your personal rights, but the one that in contrast to your denied basic human rights recognizes you extremely liable when payments are due) !!?

IS IT INDEPENDENCE THAT WE CELEBRATE OR DEPENDENCE (what are your credit card bills or alimony saying about it) !!? HOW IS YOUR DIABETES AND LOST MARRIAGES !!? FORECLOSURES AND JOB SEARCH !!? THAT IS THE QUESTION TO BE OR NOT TO BE !!! IS IT LAND OF THE FREE OR STATE OF TERROR AGAINST OWN POPULATION !!? IT IS TIME TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT COLOR ARE THE STRIPES ON OUR STAR SPANGLED BANNER !!! TIME TO DETERMINE WHOSE INDEPENDENCE/AMERICA, WE CELEBRATE TODAY(who wants to erase us and denies us the right to exist) !!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHOM WE ADDRESS WITH "PRESIDENT" (STOP HUMILIATING YOURSELF) !!!

VOTING POLL:

DO WE NEED MORE PROOFS TO INDICT OBAMA AND BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY !!?

1)NO, THEY ARE CLEARLY GUILTY AS OIL WAR NEVER EVER WAS REAL ISSUE IN GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES. REAL ISSUE ARE FACTS OR WHAT WE WITNESS TODAY WHEN VETERANS ARE HOMELESS, JOBLESS, KILLED, ETC.

2)NO, AS 911 ALONE AS WELL AS ACTIONS IMPOSED AGAINST WHITES IN USA (as well worldwide) ARE CLEARLY INDICATING ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY

3)YESS AS JUST YESTERDAY(for over 15 years to very yesterday), WE (news/media = vacuum world of lies) WERE TELLING YOU THAT UNEMPLOYMENT WAS AT 10% WHILE TODAY ONE IS AT 50% (HOW COME NO ONE QUESTION JOURNALISM LIKE THIS OR WHAT IS WORLD OF LIES AND DEMENTIA)!

4)I AGREE WITH FIRST TWO ANSWERS ABOVE. IT IS TIME TO PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST BOTH ADMINISTRATIONS DUE TO ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY FOR THE SAKE(SAFETY) OF US AND OUR CHILDREN(DO NOT TURN THEM IN WHITE REFUGEES ON PLANET APES OR WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WHEN VISITING ABOVE PAGES) !!!

Jon156
Jon156

One Q! can New times find out what Senator Mc Cain has done FOR Arizona!??? I have the feeling he has done NOTHING to help AZ!!

Shawn
Shawn

This guy is a joke I myself am a 100 percent disabled OIF Veteran, I contacted his office for help in 2005 for help in my case against the Army. The Army was trying to Medically Board me with 10 percent disability and I was unable to return to work with severe PTSD and multiple injuries to include Traumatic Brain Injury, this guy blew me off like I had an STD, I had more help with Jon Kyle... thanks war hero...may u burn in hell.

Micah
Micah

You are idiots. I'm an Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom Vet and the VA has done alot for me as well as any of the other Vets that I know who were unfortunate enough to have something debilitating happen to them. McCain is one of if not THE biggest advocate for Vets out there. He is fighting for concurrent receipt as well as better quality of care for our Vets. The VA has alot of issues and I'm always aggrivated with them but the VA is not John McCain. Why don't you look to the Democrat controlled house and Nancy Pelosi with your complaints. Or maybe even go to the VA and talk to people who have been using the system before you shoot your ignorant mouths off. Also you may want to actually show evidence of McCain being anti-vet rather than just spew your BS.

Maxine
Maxine

Being a total political news junkie I knew about McCain's anti-veteran voting before but finally found the real deal exposed in LA Weekly. I just wish this news were out there big time as John McCain voted against helping veterans for the reason that if they have GI benefits they may choose to go to school instead of re-enlisting to go back to Iraq.

In my opinion, McCain if elected will bring us to World War III.

misslisa
misslisa

Veterans who need help need to leave Arizona, by any means possible, and move to a state that has excellent benefits for them. My dad moved back to Kentucky and is milking the vet benefit system. I hate to see him do it because he only spent 2 or 3 years in the service, so I don't think he really "earned" it. But the VA in Louisville apparently doesn't turn anyone away and provides immediate medical & psychiatric help. For veterans who need to be in a nursing home, the Veteran's Home in central KY provides outstanding care, and the waiting list last I checked (5 yrs ago) was only about 5 weeks.

Debbie Mosley
Debbie Mosley

Yea, my husband knows what it is like to ask John McCain for help! Back in 2000 his ex-wife left Arizona with his two daughters, lied said she was going to Fort Polk, Louisiana,when she actually went to Fort Campbell KY... It took us a year to track her down. When we asked John McCain for help we were told "sure no problem" My husband still has not had contact with his two daughters since 2000. Even though he has shared custody. Even though Arizona ruled she was in contempt of court they have done nothing. What is a Man who serves his country in the US ARMY, get wounded and disabled, has PTSD, can't find work, etc. to do? Yea John McCain shafted all of us!

Pamela
Pamela

Finally someone's revealing his weakness, that he talks about being a POW but doesn't really help fellow veterans.

 
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