Maine's senior US Senator Susan Collins spoke this weekend about the passing of her friend John McCain, a war hero who served in the Senate since the 1980s after a storied military career.

Senator Collins spoke with CNN, Maine Public, the Bangor Daily News and other outlets this weekend, and recounted stories about her friendship and partnership with McCain.

She told the Bangor Daily News about a famous trip to Bangor that McCain made, when he spent hours greeting hundreds of troops coming home from the middle east.

Collins, who first joined the Senate in 1997, recalled how McCain took her and other young senators under his wing.

“He taught me so much about national security,” she said.

Collins, who traveled extensively with McCain all over the world, said she and McCain visited Iraq and Afghanistan four times together. She said she will never forget one trip when they made a spiral landing – a steep corkscrew maneuver to avoid anti-aircraft fire – at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

“I was absolutely terrified. He reached over and said: ‘Don’t worry, Susan. I have been through so much, I am going to die at home in my own bed,” referring to his time as a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War, when he was shot down and held as a prisoner of war for 5½ years by the North Vietnamese.

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