I was delighted to see Dr. James Peake become the nation’s 6th Secretary of Veterans Affairs when he was sworn in by President Bush on 20 Dec. Fourty-one years ago right now I was the company commander of Co C, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry, a part of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY. I was just back from my first RVN tour, had been married 6 weeks, and had been a captain just over 3 weeks. One of my 2LT platoon leaders was Jim Peake. He was an excellent platoon leader. He volunteered for service in RVN and left the company in the spring. There he served with distinciton and valor; his decorations include the Silver Star. Jim returned to go to medical school and continued in the Army in the Medical Corps. He rose to be Surgeon General of the Army, retiring as a Lt. General in 2004. Our VA system needs a strong leader who really cares for the troops; I believe that Jim Peake is just the man. Now we need a Congress and a president who will give him the resources he needs to do the job. Jim will be our guest on Frontlines of Freedom on 17 Feb 08.