The President traveled to Fort Myer, Virginia yesterday for the Armed Forces farewell ceremony in honor of our 24th Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel.
In his remarks, the President acknowledged Secretary Hagel's courageous work during his lifelong service as a decorated veteran and Secretary:
[T]oday is a celebration of a quintessentially American life — a man from the heartland who devoted his life to America. Just imagine, in your mind’s eye, the defining moments of his life. The kid from Nebraska who, as Marty said, volunteered to go to Vietnam. The soldier outside Saigon, rushing to pull his own brother from a burning APC. The deputy at the VA who stood up for his fellow Vietnam vets who were exposed to Agent Orange. The senator who helped lead the fight for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, to give this generation of heroes the same opportunities that he had.
I asked Chuck to lead this department at a moment of profound transition. And today we express our gratitude for the progress under his watch.