Arizona Senator John McCain is campaigning with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst today.

“Iowans are concerned about out national security, about the treatment of our veterans and the need to fix that,” McCain says. “I think they realize that Joni is exactly the kind of person with her experience and background, also in the legislature, that will make her hit the ground running when she gets to the United States Senate.”

McCain, who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, is among a dwindling number of senators with a military background. Ernst, a battalion commander in the Iowa National Guard, is one of a handful of 2014 candidates for the U.S. Senate who have run campaign ads featuring photos of themselves in their military uniforms. McCain says military experience isn’t required, but it’s an “enormous asset” for a member of the senate.

“Joni Ernst has served in a position of command. She understand what morale, efficiency, the capabilities of the men and women who are serving and, most of all, the hardships that men and women undergo as they are serving the country,” McCain says.

McCain and Ernst met with about 150 veterans at an American Legion Post in Coralville today, where McCain referred to President Obama’s foreign policy as “feckless” and he called the present state of the Veterans Administration “unacceptable.”