The loss of Sen. John McCain is deeply personal. As a teenager in the mid-late 2000s, I developed an interest in politics and began to volunteer my time on campaigns. When John McCain ran for president in 2008, I was fascinated with his service to the country and he quickly became a personal hero, which has remained so all these years later.

A year or so after his second candidacy for the presidency, I was given a special opportunity and received advice from John. He told me that to get into public service, one must have a desire to do what is right. That, while political issues may be popular, they mustn’t be the motivation to devote oneself to others and their well-being.

During the last few years of his life, and during the Donald Trump presidency, John McCain stood up for what was right and lived by the words he shared with me, even when it meant opposing his own party. And he didn’t back down when Trump criticized him for being a prisoner of war. Instead, he stood taller.

John McCain’s death is this nation’s loss, and it will be felt for many years to come.

Patrick Holman-Hart, Herriman