PHOENIX — The youngest son of Sen. John McCain has joined the Marine Corps and could be deployed to a war zone in a matter of months, according to a magazine report.
Jimmy McCain, 18, will begin basic training in September. He'll spend three months in boot camp and undergo a month of specialized training before being assigned to a unit.
"I'm obviously very proud of my son," the elder McCain told Time for a story in editions going on sale Monday, "but also understandably a little nervous."
With 25,000 of 178,000 active- duty Marines in Iraq now and 80,000 having done tours of duty there or in Afghanistan in recent years, the likelihood is high of Jimmy McCain being deployed to a war zone.
McCain's communications director, Eileen McMenamin, confirmed the Time story but said the senator would not comment further Saturday.
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McCain has been an outspoken supporter of the war in Iraq and said last month during a Senate debate that withdrawing troops would "risk disaster."
Having a son serving in the war would not change his position, the senator said. McCain, a Republican, is a member of the Armed Services Committee and could become its chairman next year if Republicans retain control of the Senate.
Considered a possible presidential candidate in 2008, McCain served as a Navy pilot and was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967. He was held as a prisoner of war for more than five years.
McCain's father, Adm. John S. McCain Jr., commanded U.S. forces in the Pacific during Vietnam. His grandfather, Adm. John S. McCain Sr., served in World War II and was present at the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri.
Another of Sen. McCain's seven children, Jack, 20, is a student at the U.S. Naval Academy.
McCain said Jimmy was well aware of the family's Navy background but had friends in the Corps and "he just wanted to join up."
"I don't think there's anything unusual about Jimmy," McCain said. "There are, thank God, lots of young men and women like him."