WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki released the following statement Jan. 7 in support of the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as the next secretary of defense:
“As a recipient of two Purple Hearts for courage in the line of duty in Vietnam; a deputy administrator of veterans affairs under President Reagan dedicated to ensuring aeterans receive the care and benefits owed them; and a distinguished member of the U.S. Senate, Chuck Hagel is a principled public servant who has shown unwavering commitment to our nation’s defense and the servicemembers and veterans of every generation who have sacrificed to safeguard our freedom.
“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.”