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McCain, Graham back Osborn

Republican Senate candidate Shane Osborn has picked up the financial backing of the Senate’s two military veterans, Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Breitbart reports that both are making donations to the Osborn campaign. The two became supporters of the former Navy pilot in February, when Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer invited Osborn to a closed-door luncheon in Washington. Breitbart also reports that neither has any plans to make campaign appearances in Nebraska on Osborn’s behalf.

Graham, 58, joined the Air Force after graduating from law school in the early 1980s, and served as a judge advocate in Europe. He returned to his native South Carolina after discharge, and served in the Air Force Reserves there. President George W. Bush promoted him to the rank of colonel during a White House ceremony. Graham is not a combat veteran.

McCain, 77, had a more colorful and painful military career. Both his father and grandfather were four-star admirals, and McCain followed in their footsteps by graduating from the Naval Academy in 1958. During Vietnam, McCain flew bombing missions from an aircraft carrier. He was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and badly injured.

Out of deference to McCain’s admiral father and his family’s 200-year history of military service, the North Vietnamese offered to release him in 1968, but McCain refused to leave his fellow prisoners behind. He remained a prisoner for five more years, and was released with other American POWs after the Paris Peace Accords in 1973. McCain retired from the Navy in 1981 as a captain.

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