Regarding James McMahon questioning John McCain's leadership record (Readers' Forum, Aug. 26), I ask, has McMahon ever been in the military up close to fighter pilots? I have. Has he ever been an officer in the military? I have. Is he familiar with the training in leadership all officers undergo, not to mention that of the creme de la creme, fighter pilots? I have.

McMahon diminishes McCain's POW experience with a resounding BUT. I agree, POW has little to do with leadership. But the way Sen. McCain handled his POW status by refusing to crowd in line to go home early at the expense of the next soldier speaks of much more than leadership. McCain's military record speaks of compassion, integrity, love of fellow man more than self, courage and honor. And maybe that is the greatest example of leadership of all.

We all have our political bents. McMahon chose a poor topic to question McCain's military leadership qualifications.

Wayne C. Taylor

Salt Lake City