John McCain shows gratitude for US military on Independence Day

Jul 4, 2018, 8:52 AM | Updated: 12:45 pm
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)...
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

PHOENIX – In celebration of Independence Day, U.S. Sen. John McCain released a heartfelt statement on Wednesday, thanking all members of the U.S. armed forces for their service.

“As we celebrate our nation’s independence, I am especially mindful of the value of our freedom,” McCain said in a statement. “America is the freest and most prosperous country in the world, offering life of liberty and endless opportunity.

“May we all remember the sacrifices made by generations of Americans to secure the liberty we so often take for granted, and that we celebrate today.”

A Vietnam war veteran, McCain has made a tradition out of visiting troops oversees since the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has made 10 total Fourth of July trips to the Middle East since 2001, and four since 2013.

But this year, however, McCain is celebrating at his home in Arizona while he continues physical therapy to combat a deadly form of brain cancer.

“One of the greatest privileges of my life has been marking Independence Day with America’s service members and diplomats selflessly serving overseas,” McCain said. “As I spend this Fourth of July at home in Arizona, my thoughts are with these courageous men and women fighting terrorism and tyranny around the world.”

The 81-year-old was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer, in July 2017.

Following his diagnosis, McCain left Washington and returned to his home in Arizona, where he has remained as he seeks treatment.

McCain underwent surgery in April at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix to treat an intestinal infection related to diverticulitis.

Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that can form in the lining of a digestive system, according to Mayo Clinic. They are common after the age of 40 and rarely cause problems.

However, they can become inflamed or infected and cause colon pain, fever and nausea.

There have been no official updates on McCain’s health from his office since the surgery, but his daughter, Meghan McCain, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac and Gaydos last month that her father is doing well.

Despite his inability to spend the holiday oversees, McCain made it his mission to show his gratitude for those that serve and protect the freedom of the American people.

“It is because of their sacrifice that our country remains a beacon of hope to all people held captive by oppression, violence and injustice,” McCain said.

“Today and every day, let us show our gratitude and keep in our prayers the brave and selfless patriots serving in uniform and their families, who shoulder our burdens to protect our freedom and keep us safe from harm.”

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John McCain shows gratitude for US military on Independence Day