WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, held a hearing today on General Eric Shinseki, President-elect Barack Obama's presumed nominee to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs. General Shinseki was introduced by two distinguished World War II veterans - Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), and former-Senator Bob Dole. Both praised General Shinseki and urged his confirmation.
Chairman Akaka issued the following statement after today's nomination hearing:
"General Shinseki is an honest, distinguished and capable veteran who is well-equipped to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has a daunting task ahead of him, and I look forward to working with him and the incoming President to help veterans receive the care and services they have earned through their service.
"I urge my colleagues to support his confirmation as soon as he is formally nominated, so he can begin his work for America's veterans."
The Chairman's full opening statement can be viewed here: link
General Shinseki is the former U.S. Army Chief of Staff, who ended his distinguished career of military service in August 2003. Wounded in Vietnam, he petitioned successfully to remain in the military despite his injury.
An audio file with a portion of General Shinseki's testimony is available here.
January 14, 2009