One of John McCain’s former captors in Vietnam offered his condolences to the former senator’s family and praised his resilience, the Viet Nam News reported on Sunday.
Col. Tran Trong Duyet, who ran Hoa Lo Prison while McCain was held there for nearly six years, told the paper that he grew to admire him during the time he was in captivity.
“I had a lot of time meeting him when he was kept in the prison,” Duyet said. “At that time I liked him personally for his toughness and strong stance.”
Duyet added that following McCain’s release, when he became a US Senator, “he and Senator John Kerry greatly contributed to promote Vietnam-US relations, so I was very fond of him.”
The colonel said that “When I learnt about his death early this morning, I feel very sad. I would like to send condolences to his family. I think it’s the same feeling for all Vietnamese people as he has greatly contributed to the development of Vietnam – US relations.”
As a senator, McCain was one of the first to campaign for the normalization of US – Vietnam relations by promoting humanitarian issues. As part of his efforts, McCain traveled to Vietnam and visited many times the prison at which he was held, which is now a museum.
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