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Can veteran Hagel bridge gap between Pentagon and VA?

By Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes, Published: January 30, 2013 If former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel can survive his nomination fight in the Senate, President Barack Obama’s second-term Cabinet will become the first to boast Vietnam veterans leading the departments of defense, state and veterans affairs. But just how much that will benefit veterans remains to be seen. Supporters and veterans advocates have touted the 66-year-old Hagel, whose nomination hearing takes place on Thursday, as a perfect candidate to bridge Pentagon and VA operations. If confirmed, the two-time Purple Heart recipient will be the first noncommissioned officer to lead the Department of Defense. To read full article: