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North Platte Parade

Parade in North Platte, 2001

Chuck and Tom Hagel in Vietnam

Chuck and Tom Hagel in Vietnam

Chuck and Tom are the only brothers known to have served together in the same unit during the Vietnam War. 

Hagel’s youngest brother, Jim, and his son, Ziller, were both Zorro for Halloween as boys. Jim Hagel died tragically in a car accident at the age of 16 in 1969, only a few months after his brothers returned from Vietnam. 

Hagel was the first Republican in 24 years to win a U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska. He won over 83% of the vote in his 2002 re-election, a record for largest margin of victory in statewide races in Nebraska. 

Chuck Hagel had a tradition while Senator of dressing up as other political figures for Halloween. He frequently took pictures with his target individuals. 

Traveling together in Iraq in 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama teased Hagel, calling his shoes "Hugh Hefner slippers." When Obama appointed Hagel co-chair of his Intelligence Advisory Board in 2009, Hagel brought the President a pair of his own slippers. 

Chuck Hagel is the only Vietnam veteran and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve as Secretary of Defense.

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