McCain the POW: Tucson POW/MIA group honors war survivor

McCain the POW: Tucson POW/MIA group honors war survivor

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - McCain's death hits close to home for members of the Arizona POW/MIA Awareness Association, who think of him as an inspiration.

"He's a testament to why we should be doing this," explained Kathleen Cooper, the organization's founder. She started the group to help bring prisoners of war and those missing in action back home. Her uncle was a POW.

"Bringing closure to family that have no idea what happened to their loved ones, that's 100 percent my goal now."

McCain is a legend Cooper will never forget. Her cause is one the U.S. Senator saw firsthand.

McCain lived through some hard fought battles as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Another member of the AZ POW/MIA Awareness Association, Sierra Hatch, heard about that same kind of pain from her great grandfather. He was a POW, too.

"The strength that he had and his persona. How he was and how he stood up for his beliefs. My great grandfather was the same way," she said.

Both Hatch and Cooper commended McCain for his undying loyalty and bravery.

Cooper told us those same qualities resided within her own father. He's another man committed to helping the military in her family, and like McCain, lost his battle to cancer. "One of the things he wanted me to do was keep going. It meant a lot to him because he knew how happy it made me," she said.

Between her dad's fight against cancer and her uncle's experiences as a POW, she was able to relate to McCain's life in more ways than one.

She said she's thankful for Senator McCain's commitment to veterans, just as she is.

"That helped my family so much through my dad's care and helping him be comfortable."

McCain's life remains a reminder to hold onto hope, through any battle life throws at you.

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