Senator John McCain: A Hero to His Country and, More Importantly, His Family

Senator John McCain was a hero to his country and, more importantly, his family. Here’s what every parent can learn from him.
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Last Updated
April 22, 2019
posted on
August 29, 2018
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3
Minute Read

This past Saturday, our nation lost senator, presidential candidate and decorated war hero John McCain. Senator McCain, like any other political figure, had supporters and critics throughout the years on both sides of the political spectrum. Regardless of his politics though, it seems that the senator had a few key supporters throughout his life: his family.

This past Saturday, our nation lost senator, presidential candidate and decorated war hero John McCain. Senator McCain, like any other political figure, had supporters and critics throughout the years on both sides of the political spectrum. Regardless of his politics though, it seems that the senator had a few key supporters throughout his life: his family.

On the evening of his death, his daughter Meghan McCain posted a heartfelt tribute on Twitter:

…he raised me, taught me, corrected me, comforted me, encouraged me, and supported me in all things. He loved me, and I loved him. His love and his care, ever-present, always unfailing, took me from a girl to a woman—and he showed me what it is to be a man…in this loss, and in this sorrow, I take comfort in this: John McCain, hero of the republic and hero to his little girl, wakes today in something more glorious than anything on this earth.

I love that she said “hero to his republic and hero to his little girl.” This tells me everything I need to know about what type of parent Senator McCain was.

Meghan is a very accomplished woman in her own right. She is a co-host on the popular daytime talk show The View, and she is a political analyst for ABC News. In my 30-plus years as a pediatrician, I’ve seen a common denominator behind successful young women like this: strong fathers.

Strong fathers raise strong daughters.

I don’t mean strong as in physically strong or financially successful. Strong fathers are the type of fathers Meghan described above. Notice how she didn’t describe her dad’s many political victories or accolades. She described him as loving, caring, present and comforting. She described him as a father who connected with her in a way that made her feel loved, seen and appreciated. This is the type of parenting that makes a dad a hero.

You don’t have to be a decorated war veteran or a state senator to be a hero in your children’s eyes. Children are born thinking their father is their heroes. It is hardwired into them to view their father as the strongest, bravest, most incredible man in their world. They believe that nothing is impossible for their dad and that he would conquer all evil to protect his family.

Dads. You don’t have to be a decorated war veteran or a state senator to be a hero in your children’s eyes.

Children have already given fathers the title of hero. Dads just have to step up to the plate and be the very best father their children already believe them to be.

This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. Kids don’t expect perfection. Do you think Senator McCain was a perfect father? I don’t. I’m sure he made mistakes like all parents do, but kids are full of grace for their parents. If you apologize and say you were wrong, they will still hold you in that special place in their hearts. They will still see you as their ultimate hero.

Children have already given fathers the title of hero. Dads just have to step up to the plate and be the very best father their children already believe them to be.

I am very grateful for the life and public service of Senator John McCain. I know our country will miss him terribly, but I know his family will miss him even more. It is an amazing thing when a public figure makes such an impact on an entire nation. But I think it is even more amazing when that public figure made an impact on his family because that means his life does not stop with him. His legacy lives on through his children.

I am confident that Meghan and her siblings will carry the torch with strength. This is what children of strong fathers do. That is what children do who believed their dad was their hero.

Dr. Meg Meeker, MD

Practicing pediatrician, parent, grandparent, coach, speaker, and author. Say hello @MegMeekerMD

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