Hagel to Veterans: Give Us a Hand

NGAUS Washington Report

(July 23, 2013) In his address Monday to the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called on the nation’s 22 million veterans to become partners in helping the Defense Department work through “historic transition and change.”

Every major conflict in U.S. history has been followed by a period of “realignment and redefinition,” with “enormous ramifications and consequences for our entire defense enterprise,” the secretary noted at the convention, being held in Louisville, Ky.

As the Defense Department undergoes the latest realignments and reshapes the military for the future, Hagel called on veterans “who helped build our military into the strongest, most capable and most respected on Earth” to help ensure it remains that way.

“All of us at the Pentagon, and across this administration, value your perspective and devotion to our military men and women,” he told the group. “We will need your help and partnership as we manage through a period of historic transition and change.

“As I look out across this audience, I see thousands of veterans whose lives have been committed to helping our service members, their families and our veterans succeed, and to ensuring this country honors their legacy with policies that are worthy of their sacrifices,” Hagel continued. “All of you, and the roughly 22 million veterans across this nation, have an important role to play in the debate over our country’s future national security priorities.”