Off the Record

Greta: What's up with Chuck Hagel?

'Off the Record', 10/9/13: Greta wonders why the defense secretary didn't stand up for his fellow veterans and their families as the 'slimdown' threatened their benefits


By Greta Van Susteren

Let's go "Off the Record" for a minute. What's up with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel? Where is he? He has a distinguished military record and is well-respected, but where has he been over the last nine days of the shutdown, as our government failed to show basic decency to the families of the 26 soldiers who died in October?

Isn't that part of the job of the secretary of defense to protect our soldiers including from our own government? Has he looked the other way while our politicians ditched our soldiers? Now if I were secretary of defense I would do everything I could do to protect the families of fallen soldiers and keep our word. I would have made the sure the shutdown never touched our families.

Even if I had to, I would have chained myself to the White House fence in protest. That's how mad I think he should be. That would have gotten President Obama's attention and the attention of the House and the Senate. They would not dare let this happen if Secretary Hagel had outed them to the American people.

A secretary of defense should be a strong advocate to his troops when something so wrong like this is done. We are nine days into this and the secretary and politicians did nothing. It took the American people to get this fixed. It's disgraceful the government did not pay for the dead troops families that traveled to Dover to receive the remains.

A private group had to step in because the government failed them and thus failed us. Our government has been treating military families and the fallen soldiers as insignificant pawn in this insignificant game. It's not insignificant to you or to me. The soldiers doing their jobs for us, members of the U.S. military leave no man behind. That's what it feels like our government was doing for them for nine days.

These American heroes and their families deserve better, and Secretary Hagel should try his damnest to make sure they get it. That's my "Off the Record" comment tonight. If you an important story or issue you think I should take "Off the Record," go to and tell us about it.