Washington, D.C.) --"Vietnam Veterans of America fully and unequivocally stands in support of the nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense," said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America, in a letter to Senators Carl Levin and John McCain, Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"We have known Chuck Hagel for more than thirty years. We know him to be a man of the highest character and integrity who will take care of the troops while accomplishing the mission. He has the range and depth of knowledge in foreign affairs as well as defense policy to have sufficient gravitas to be an excellent Secretary of Defense. He is an inspired choice.
"As a combat-tested soldier who acquitted himself well in battle, Senator Hagel knows first-hand what it means to commit our troops to war. He gets it that warfare is ultimately about the mud and the blood and the efforts of the troops on the ground, so he will ensure that we continue to be the best-equipped and trained military in the world," Rowan said.
"As a small business innovator himself, Senator Hagel understands that much of the best innovation comes from small firms, and so he will make certain there is real competition in acquisitions at the Department of Defense. To get this competition, there must be a real way of ensuring that small business is a key partner in acquisition and innovation strategy.
"As a Senator, he was a key player in securing the GI Bill for the 21st Century, as well as other crucial programs to assist the veterans of our latest wars. He was the critical champion in the Senate in strengthening veterans' preference in federal hiring, which has made the current campaign to hire veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan into government positions possible.
"VVA recommends Senator Chuck Hagel without reservation for quick confirmation as Secretary of Defense, a position for which he is pre-eminently qualified," Rowan concluded.