Letter: McCain has earned this veteran's respect

John McCain is an Arizona hero.

We all know the story well - five grueling years in a POW camp and when John was offered early release, he declined, choosing to do his duty and stand with his brothers and endure unspeakable torture.

But he never rested on his laurels.

McCain has been leading the fight to care for our veterans, especially those disabled in war. And when the VA scandal first broke, McCain shook the establishment, both by demanding answers and advancing solutions. Immediately after the scandal, he led the effort in Congress to overwhelmingly pass a bill with some of the most significant reforms to the VA in decades - including giving veterans a choice in their health care for the first time in history. He's been a thorn in the side of the VA bureaucracy, demanding that the bureaucrats responsible for this mess be fired and that the VA live up to its commitments.

But as McCain knows, there's much more to do, and he continues to lead. McCain this year wrote a bill reforming and strengthening military programs to prevent suicide, which tragically takes the lives of some 22 servicemen and veterans every day. And his office continues to fight to ensure Arizona veterans get the care they've earned and deserve.

I am proud to stand with John McCain as he fights to reform not only the broken VA system, but to fix Washington and this failed presidential administration.

Dick Lesser

Retired U.S. Naval Air Corps

Scottsdale