Senator John McCain, Arizona, veterans, brain cancer, war hero

Quad City veterans react to the passing of Arizona Senator John McCain

EAST MOLINE, Illinois-- People nationwide are reflecting on the loss of Arizona Senator John McCain.

McCain passed on August 25 from brain cancer.

Local veteran Mike Malstrom is taking in the loss of one of his brother in arms.

"John McCain was a hero," said Malstrom. He credits McCain for the reason he got involved with veteran affairs years ago. Now Malstrom is the Commander of AMVET Post 145 in East Moline.

"When we lost an individual like John McCain in the United States Senate, we're going to be hurting," said Malstrom.

They say McCain was a man of many talents. Not only as a politician but as a veteran as well.

"He was a gentleman's gentleman and a veteran's veteran. He worked very hard for veterans causes and I liked the way the he was willing and able to stand up and speak on behalf of people and if he disagreed he told them so," said Malstrom.

His fight for veterans with PTSD and agent orange made him an icon but veterans admire him for the five years he spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

"He had a chance to come back because of who his father and grandfather were but he chose not to receive any special treatment which I admire him for that," said Charles Reynolds. Reynolds is an Army veteran.

Whether or not they agreed with him politically, they looked up to him and his character is rare to come by.

"John McCain was one of those that would negotiate. He was one of the ones who believed that this party line stuff shouldn't be where its at. We have to work for the better of the veterans or the community itself," said Malstrom.

"My condolences to the family for their loss. Actually my condolence to the whole United States for it's loss," said Reynolds.

McCain will lie in state at the U.S Capitol. An honor only 30 other people hold.