For those who served in Vietnam, recent news of Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense should come as welcomed news. If confirmed, Sen. Hagel would become the first Vietnam Veteran to head the Pentagon. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, himself a Vietnam Veteran, congratulated Sen. Hagel on his nomination:
“His lifetime of experience and leadership has prepared him to serve the Nation well as our next Secretary of Defense. I fully support his nomination and look forward to his partnership in meeting the needs of our transitioning Servicemembers, survivors, Veterans and their families.”
Sen. Hagel is uniquely qualified, primarily as a former deputy administrator for VA under President Reagan, and as a twice-wounded combat Veteran turned statesman. And as a former enlisted soldier myself, I can’t help but admire Sen. Hagel’s path to the top, usually reserved for officer types. Sen. Hagel knows where we’ve been and what we can do, and we certainly look forward to his leadership at the Pentagon.