From Jan C. Scruggs: "Chuck Hagel was a prime target for the opposition. He was the talented second-in-command at the Veterans Administration, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and a highly respected appointee in the Reagan Administration. He was told that he should join the team opposing Lin's design. If he did not join the opposition, he would be out of work. Friends at the White House would see to it that he would be fired. Most people would have caved. Hagel did not.
There are a few examples of stunning courage in Washington. Most are unheralded, this was one. Hagel said, "I serve at the pleasure of the President. If he fires me for supporting a design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, so be it." read more>>>
WASHINGTON - January 4, 2013 - President Obama is expected to nominate Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator and Vietnam veteran, to be Defense secretary, officials said, setting up a confirmation battle with lawmakers and interest groups critical of Hagel's views on Israel and Iran.
White House officials said Friday that the president hadn't formally offered the job to Hagel, but others familiar with the process said that the announcement could come as soon as Monday.
Hagel, who was elected to the Senate from Nebraska in 1996 and retired in 2008, was awarded two Purple Hearts for wounds he received as a soldier in Vietnam. His experience serving in that war made him wary about using force unless other options had been tried, he said in a recent interview with the history magazine Vietnam.
"I'm not a pacifist. I believe in using force but only after a very careful decision-making process. "I will do everything I can to avoid needless, senseless war," he said. read more>>>
With Sen. Kerry at State they both bring a non political ideology and understanding of wars especially of choice, like Gen. Shinseki brought to the VA finally while the Country still refuses to Sacrifice, to these two extremely important leadership rolls with common sense and extreme critical thought as to what this Country should be and once was thought of by most of the rest of the planet, perfect no, nobody is, but respected and highly experienced!
Myself: USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 who remembers well the well financed and political fight over 'The Wall' design and especially the language and more used by our brother 'Nam vets, much like today's especially coming from the heavily financed Neo-Con Israeli propaganda machines against Hagel, who were front and center for the politics of opposition, then like much they do took credit after it was built and became the most popular Memorial of Honor on the Mall and is to this day!