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A legacy of service

Sen. John McCain’s life has revolved around the public need.

John S. McCain III, center, with his grandfather Vice Admiral John S. McCain Sr., at left, and father Admiral John S. McCain Jr. in family photo from the 1940's. McCain followed the footsteps of his father and grandfather attending the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, graduating in 1958. Terry Ashe / Time & Life Time & Life Pictures - Getty Image
John McCain, front right, with his squadron in 1965. A Navy fighter pilot, McCain served in Vietnam and awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross Medal, and Prisoner of War (POW) Medal. Library of Congres via AP
On Oct. 26, 1967 Lieutenant Commander John McCain was rescued from Hanoi's Truc Bach Lake by several Hanoi residents after his Navy warplane was downed by the Northern Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War. AFP - Getty Images
A Vietnamese doctor examines John McCain after his plane was shot down and he was captured in 1967. He suffered injuries in the crash and was subsequently tortured as a POW during his five years of imprisonment in Hanoi. - / AFP - Getty Images
McCain is welcomed to Washington, D.C., on May 24, 1973, by President Richard Nixon following his release after five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Getty Images
Fellow Vietnam veteran, Sen. John Kerry and Sen. John McCain examine a book on June 24, 1992 containing the names of the "total unaccounted for" soldiers who served in the Vietnam War. McCain was first elected to the Senate in 1983, after retiring from the Navy in 1981. Robert Giroux / AFP - Getty Images
Outside the Army Museum in Hanoi on Oct. 19, 1992, McCain, serving as a member of the Senate Select Committee on servicemen listed as missing in action (MIAs) in Southeast Asia, holds photos of himself as a 30-year-old man wounded and captured in 1967 in North Vietnam. McCain is known for his work towards restoring diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Hoang Dinh Nam / AFP - Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole and McCain, wave to members of the American Legion at the group's annual convention in Salt Lake City, Utah on Sept. 3, 1996. McCain was on Dole's short list of possible running mates. He had also been short-listed as a possible running mate for George H.W. Bush in 1988. David Ake / AFP - Getty Images
McCain signs copies of his book "Faith of My Fathers" on Sept. 13, 1999 in Washington, DC. Co-authored with Mark Salter, the book became a bestseller and was later made into a movie. Manny Ceneta / AFP - Getty Images
On Sept. 27, 1999, McCain, with his wife Cindy, center, and adopted daughter Bridget, announced his official bid for the 2000 White House race while in Nashua, N.H. McCain divorced his first wife shortly after meeting Cindy Lou Hensley, whom he married in 1980. They had three children together and adopted Bridget from an orphanage in Bangladesh. John Mottern / AFP - Getty Images
McCain speaks to voters Dec. 2, 1999 at the Town Hall in North Hampton, NH. McCain won the New Hampshire primary, but lost South Carolina to George W. Bush. His campaign never recovered and he withdrew from the race in March of 2000. Luke Frazza / AFP - Getty Images
Presidential hopeful McCain and his wife Cindy are showered with confetti following McCain's final town meeting on Jan. 30, 2000, in Peterborough, N.H. C.J. Gunther / AFP - Getty Images
McCain does a phone interview for a radio show from his Los Angeles, hotel room on March 7, 2000 with his wife Cindy nearby. McCain lost nine of the thirteen primaries that day to Bush and withdrew from the race two days later. Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images
During a news conference on April 2, 2001 in the Senate radio-TV gallery, senators celebrate the passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill which set new rules for political advertising and donations to candidates. From left to right, Sen. Olympia Snowe, R- Maine, Sen. John McCain, R- Ariz., Sen. Thad Cochran, R- Miss., and Sen. Russ Feingold, D- Wisc. President Bush signed the bill into law even though he said he had doubts "about the constitutionality of the broad ban on issue advertising, which restrains the speech of a wide variety of groups." Alex Wong / Getty Images
McCain wears a bandage on his nose after skin cancer surgery on Feb. 11, 2002 in Washington, DC. McCain has been treated on several occasions for melanoma which has left noticeable scars on his face, but his prognosis appears favorable. Mark Wilson / Getty Images
testimony during a hearing on lobbying practices involving Indian tribes before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Capitol Hill June 22, 2005. The hearing was to examine the allegations of misconduct made by six Indian tribes against their former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former political consultant Michael Scanlon and the consequent harm to the tribes. McCain fought to limit off-reservation casinos. Alex Wong / Getty Images
McCain talks with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani before a meeting at the White House with President George W. Bush on July 31, 2002. The two competed for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. Stephen Jaffe / AFP - Getty Images
McCain listens to his introduction backstage before speaking at an event sponsored by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, November 16, 2006 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson / Getty Images
Sens. Joseph Lieberman and John McCain participate in seminar entitled "Iraq: A Turning Point," at the American Enterprise Institute on January 5, 2007 in Washington, DC. Both senators had recently returned from a trip to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East and reported that "a substantial and sustained surge" in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq would increase security and create an environment for political and economic stability. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
McCain visits the popular Shorja market in central Baghdad, Iraq on April 1, 2007. McCain charged that the American people were not getting a "full picture" of progress in the security crackdown in the capital. McCain voted for the Iraq War Resolution in 2002, and began questioning troop levels as early as 2003. Sgt. Matthew Roe / U.S. Army via AP
Republican presidential hopefuls Sen. John McCain, former Sen. Fred Thompson, Rep. Ron Paul, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani participate in a televised debate on January 5, 2008 in Manchester, NH. The evening was memorable for McCain's sharp, sometimes sardonic attacks on Romney. McCain beat Romney in the New Hampshire primary by 13,000 votes. It was a blow from which Romney's campaign never quite recovered. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Sen. John McCain hugs his daughter Meghan, with his wife Cindy McCain behind them, after hearing that he was the projected winner of the New Hampshire Primary on Jan. 8, 2008. After being forced to down-size his staff in July of 2007, McCain made a comeback with his win in the small state (only four electoral votes) which had been a focus of his general election campaign. David Hume Kennerly / Getty Images
The "Straight Talk Express" campaign bus of Sen. John McCain crosses Pensacola Bay after at a campaign rally on Jan. 22, 2008. Though fundraising problems plagued his campaign during most of 2007, McCain continued his campaign, riding in his bus and taking advantage of any free media opportunities. McCain made the bus a famous venue for free-wheeling conversations with reporters in 2000 and again in 2008. Charles Dharapak / AP
McCain and wife celebrate clinching the Republican presidential nomination at a campaign rally at the Fairmont Dallas hotel on March 4, 2008. Almost out of money in the late summer of 2007 and written off as finished by some observers, McCain fought his way to a dramatic comeback, winning the party's nomination with victories that night in Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island. Rick Gershon / Getty Images
McCain and wife Cindy, joined by Gov. Sarah Palin and husband Todd, concedes the presidential race to Sen. Barack Obama on Election Night. McCain said he won't spend a moment regretting what might have been and urged his supporters to put aside partisan differences. Stephan Savoia / AP