Sen. John McCain began a codel through Asia this week in Vietnam, where he received a much warmer reception than the first time he dropped in.
The former naval aviator was held prisoner and tortured during the Vietnam War, and since his release in 1973 has returned many times to the country, often visiting the site of the “Hanoi Hilton,” the prison-turned-museum where American POWs were held.
Upon arrival Thursday, McCain (R-Ariz.) tweeted:
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 7, 2014
McCain is a frequent flier on the military jets. And in the past several years, McCain has had at least one constant travel companion: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who went with McCain to Vietnam in January 2012. In 2013, the two men visited the Middle East in January, Germany in February, Africa in April and Asia in August. This year, they returned to Munich, Germany, and went with a small group to Ukraine in March.
Neither senator’s office would say what other countries are on the itinerary, just that they are “key strategic allies in the region.”
The two men are good buds (traveling is really the ultimate test of any relationship). McCain even wrote a book jacket blurb for Whitehouse’s 2012 book of American quotations saying that his friend’s chosen quotes “should inspire readers to live satisfying, honorable, and genuinely patriotic lives just as they have inspired him. I highly recommend it.”