Yes he is a hero.
He enrolled in the military without being drafted. He flew on 23 bombing missions. After being held and tortured as a POW he refused a North Vietnamese offer of early release, because it would have meant leaving before other prisoners who had been held longer. Heroes make personal sacrifices to help others.
I have a feeling many of us would have taken the early release deal.
He would be a hero in my mind, if he had spoken out laud and demonstrated against the Vietnam war and all the other criminal wars the US was involved in since, if he had learned anything from all the lives lost for nothing just to create profits for the criminals running the military industrial complex in the US ...
Blinded nationalists will call him a hero because they have never learned to have a critical view of what actually goes on, and how the minds of ordinary people get manipulated so it feels better when we get shafted by the establishment!
Absolutely. He graduated from the Naval Academy, which is quite an accomplishment in itself, then survived the fire on the USS Forrestal and requested to be immediately reassigned to the USS Oriskany to remain in combat despite being eligible after that horrible disaster to take a breather. This decision led to his eventual shoot-down and capture.
He could have been assigned to any cushy job in the navy he wished, due to the fact that his father was an Admiral and his grand father had been an Admiral. Because of his father being put in command of all naval forces while he was in NVA hands, they offered him an early release, he refused.
I do not like him as a politician and think it is far past time for him to retire, but I will never say anything against his military service, he survived torture that would have killed many men, some it did kill, and he still deals with the physical effects of that torture to this day.
He is a survivor, and loyal to his country.
As for hero, how is it defined?
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