Praise all around Tuesday for a woman General David Petraeus called an "unsung hero," his wife, Holly, clad in a light pink blazer sitting behind her husband for his confirmation hearing to lead the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-MI, who told reporters last week that the four-star general had accepted his new post in such haste, in the wake of the General McChrystal/Rolling Stone controversy, that he had forgotten to tell the wife, said to Mrs. Petraeus on Tuesday, "We profoundly thank you."

The committee's Ranking Republican, John McCain of Arizona, echoed the sentiments of his colleague, "I want to welcome the general's wife, Holly. We sincerely thank you," and the senator said with a grin, "It was a wise decision to accept a blind date from a young cadet 34 years ago."

Sen. George LeMieux, R-FL, who's state has been home to the general and his wife while he has been at the helm of Central Command, said Tuesday, "Again, thank you to you and to your wife, Holly, for again, answering the call of duty. We are going to miss you at MacDill in Tampa, but we know we'll get you back to Florida eventually."

"Thank you to your wife, Holly, too, for being willing to take on the responsibilities and the sacrifice that goes with -- with having you away all these months," Sen John Thune, R-SD, chimed in.

For his part, at the end of his opening remarks, Gen. Petraeus took the time to pay tribute to his wife, saying, "She is a symbol of the strength and dedication of families around the globe who wait at home for their loved ones while they are engaged in critical work in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. She has hung tough while I have been deployed for over 5 ½ years since 9/11."