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PACIFIC OCEAN - Cindy McCain, businesswoman, philanthropist, author, and wife of the late Sen. John McCain, visited the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) along with a group of business executives as part of the Commander, Naval Air Force’s Distinguished Visitor Program, Aug. 8-9.
“I am in awe of the talented women and men aboard Abraham Lincoln,” said McCain. “They do it all — work on jets, provide medical and dental care, cook for thousands of people and drive the ship. It’s like a floating city.”
McCain’s familial ties to the Navy are extensive and span several generations. Her husband, late Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee for President, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958. As a naval aviator, he served during the Vietnam War and endured six years as a prisoner of war (POW) in Vietnam. He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and moved back to Arizona where he began a decades-long career in politics. He passed away in 2018 and is buried in the United States Naval Academy Cemetery. His father was a submariner and his grandfather was a naval aviator. They were the first father-son combo to reach the four-star rank. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) is named after all three McCain veterans. Her son Jimmy served in the Marine Corps, and her son Jack serves in the Navy Reserves.
“This experience means so much to me,” said McCain. “These Sailors’ pride and professionalism remind me of why John advocated for them throughout his career, in both naval and civil service. I’m so thankful for this experience and the opportunity to thank them at sea and watch them do what they love while serving our country.”
McCain co-founded the McCain Institute in 2012, a think tank whose mission is to “advance leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom, and human dignity, in the United States and around the world.” She was recently nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as the ambassador to United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.
The Distinguished Visitor Program provides civilians the opportunity to visit an operational aircraft carrier at sea and witness operations firsthand. Visits typically include tours of the flight deck, hangar bay, various spaces throughout the ship and an overnight stay aboard. It is designed to strengthen civilian-military ties and enhance the public’s understanding of military operations.
Abraham Lincoln is underway conducting routine operations in the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations.
LT Emily Judstra
USS LINCOLN Deputy Public Affairs Officer