View Full Version : Nevada woman finally meets McCain after wearing his POW bracelet

05-04-07, 08:02 AM
Nevada woman finally meets McCain after wearing his POW bracelet

By: Associated Press

ELKO, Nev. -- As a teenager in Nebraska, Kathy Long wore a POW bracelet as part of a program to honor U.S. soldiers missing in action in Vietnam.

Engraved on the bracelet was the name of a soldier, Navy Lt. Commander John McCain, along with the date his jet was shot down in 1967.

More than 30 years later, Long finally met McCain -- during a campaign stop by the Republican presidential candidate Saturday in Elko.

"He was so kind and sincere," Long told the Elko Daily Free Press. "This is something that touched my heart and I was passionate about it ... He just thought it was so great I still had this."

Long, who works in Elko County's finance department, also has a letter that McCain wrote her after he was freed. Long said he remembered writing the letter.

The Arizona senator said he has seen a few of the prisoner of war bracelets before, and they are special to him.

McCain, a former fighter pilot, was captured by the Vietnamese, tortured and imprisoned for more than five years.

The bracelets were sold for a small contribution by Voices in Vital America, a non-profit, nonpolitical national student organization.

The bracelets were to be worn with the vow they would not be removed until the Red Cross was allowed into Hanoi to confirm the status of the POW and that he was receiving humane treatment.

"With all the twists and turns in your life, to end up in Elko and that he would come here and I would finally get to meet him ... It's been pretty exciting," Long said.

"I was 15 years old (when she received the bracelet). It meant a lot to me," she added.