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.

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Published on Jan. 9, 2013

Estimated reading time is 0.9 min.

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12 Comments

  1. F. Jasinski January 20, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Mr Hagel has the qualifications but problem is that he is against Israel which is one of our best friends in the middle east and they have a great intelligence network which helps the U.S. in the middle east conflicts. Also Mr Hagel is to much on being friendly with the President which is not good. So put Mr Hagel on ice for now. Frank J

  2. Ross January 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm

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    A good article, but it was President Reagan, not Regan.

  3. Thomas R Firak January 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    As an Iraq War Veteran (OIF III) I also want to congratulate Senator Hagel on his nomination for Defense Secretary. I was in Iraq in 2005 at FOB Kalsu when Senator Hagel began speaking up about the direction of the war there. I remember thinking to myself that someone was finally sticking up for us. I wrote his office thanking him, and received a prompt reply from one of his advisors.

  4. Dale A. Greene Sr January 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I hope he will support us Veterans !!! I heard rumor that our president plans on closing our VA hospitals and clinics is this true ?

    • Kate Hoit January 14, 2013 at 9:40 am

      Hi Dale,

      No need to worry, President Obama will not be closing our VA hospitals and clinics.

      Kate

      • Thomas R Firak January 17, 2013 at 10:03 am

        President Obama has nominated a person who believes in the Powell Doctrine, which most of the Republican Party once believed in before they embraced the Bush Doctrine of Nation Building. The Republican Party believes our troops should spend Christmas after Christmas patrolling the streets of Muslim countries and building their schools. All the while getting shot at by the local population. The Republican Party believes our troops should police the world and attempt to spread democracy (especially you Senator Cornyn and Senator Inhofe). This world view the Republican Party now embraces is part of the reason they lost the last two Presidential Elections and will continue to lose the votes of veterans across the country. As a veteran myself I have little respect for such policies now being espoused by the current Republican leadership, especially when it comes from a group of men who were hiding behind deferments during Vietnam. Why should such cowards be allowed to send our sons and daughters into harms way?

  5. Charles Lilly January 10, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    We left $800 billion worth of military equipment in Iraq recently, good for the defense Industry, bad for our economy. The we cut our Space Shuttle program of $3 billion, now having to hitch-hike rides with the Russians to service our Top Secret EMP proof case hardened satellites. How many ? 2? Anyway, we depend on those satellites for communications and navigation. What’s the problem? The Shuttle gave us a great Strategic and Tactical advantage against an all out war. Why did we give the North Koreans 250,000 metric tonnes of food, while they thumb their nose at us and continue to build and test medium and long range missiles and Nuclear weapons? I just read that we are upgrading our nukes. Actually, we have been for a very long time as I remember. So we have approx. 30,000 warheads of various sizes shapes and colors stuffed in 1000 missile silos, boomers, Aegis’s, B1 and B2 Bombers, etc. Oakridge is still in business for at least 5 more years and other Facilities out west also. just askin.

  6. Brent Salyer January 10, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I spent a year in the Army in Viet Nam assigned to a Construction Engineering Batallion. It was our job to construct base camps, runways, roads etc. After I got out of the Army I finished college and pursued a career in the offshore energy sector. Thinking back on my VN days I realized that I learned more there then I ever did in school, espcially about people’s actions under pressure. I’m sure Senator Hagel had a similar experience, which will be good for us all.

  7. Mark January 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Having served is not automatic qualification for critical role as Secretary Of Defense. Disdain for Israel, approval from Iran, and being President Obamas’ choice should be sufficient cause for ‘concern’.

  8. Charles Lilly January 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Dear soon to be Secretary of Defense, congratulations ahead of time. It’s about time Vietnam Veterans are Represented in such a way that their needs be met. Losing approx. 58,200 KIA, 2500 MIA-POW, 20,000 suicides for what? Oh yeah to stop the spread of Communism. I have written to just about every Representative in Washington about the current 18 Veterans who kill themselves everyday, yup, that’s 18 X 7 X 52 do the math, and for what this time, WMD or to stop the Taliban or oil or poppies or just plain ocupation giving our Commanders something to do. Why are we still in Korea after 60 years? Let’s build more Carriers and Bombers at $$$billions apiece. So what will be your first Command decision to protect America? Just askin.

  9. brenda January 10, 2013 at 11:44 am

    while any candidate with this experience is to be highly commendeed, it must be weighed against other qualities (good and bad) Just as with any other attribute, other things canNOT be overlooked.

  10. Cynthia K. Dias January 10, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Being a Vietnam Era Veteran myself, it is truly good to see that Senator Hagel is being nominated for our next Secretary of Defense.

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