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Controversy continues with Hagel nomination
Conservative groups opposing Chuck Hagel's confirmation as Defense Secretary are vowing to fight the nomination. But White House officials have made clear that one of their strongest cards to rebut his critics may well be Hagel's record in Vietnam.
1968. The bloodiest year of the Vietnam War. Two young brothers from Nebraska fighting side by side --they barely survived.
"The concussion was incredible. It knocked us both down - he was, you know, flat on his back, blood all over his chest," said Tom Hagel.
Tom Hagel that day bandaged up and saved the life of his older brother - Chuck Hagel.
"If you really want to understand Chuck and his view on the use of force, you have to go back and start at his experiences in Vietnam," Tom said.
Just a month after the Hagels close call-another explosion - and this time it was Chuck who carried an unconscious Tom to safety.
Years later, Hagel was torn when President Bush sought support for an invasion of Iraq:
"Imposing democracy through force in Iraq is a roll of the dice."
Hagel ended up voting for the Iraq War - but later became one of its strongest critics-forging a bond with then Senator Barack Obama.
"He understands that sending young Americans to fight and bleed in the dirt and mud, that's something we only do when its absolutely necessary."
Today, Hagel's nomination has stirred controversy over his openness to engage Iran and criticism of the Israeli government.
"I cannot support a nominee for Defense Secretary who thinks we should be tougher on Israel and more lenient on Iran," said Senator John Cornyn.
But Tom Hagel still has his brother's back:
"We look at each other and say, you know, what can they do to you? Send you back to Vietnam?"
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