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Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel was tapped by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in October to chair an advisory committee for the 50th anniversary events commemorating the Vietnam War. “I am honored by the appointment and looking forward to doing all I can to help the effort,” Hagel told Vietnam magazine.

While in the Senate, Hagel co-sponsored and brought forward the bill creating the commemoration committee.

Hagel was also a leading veterans advocate during his two terms in the Senate (1997-2009). In 1968 Hagel served in the Army in Vietnam alongside his brother, Tom, earning two Purple Hearts. He and another Vietnam veteran, Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, co-authored the new G.I. Bill, which was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2008.

“Veterans need to recognize that one’s service to country always counts,” Hagel said. “Vietnam vets did their duty honorably and well.”

For more information on the 50th anniversary commemoration, visit