Monday, May 23, 2016

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

Secretary Chuck Hagel
Member of Advisory Committee
c/o Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
1629 K Street, NW Suite 801
Washington, D.C.  20006

Dear Secretary Hagel,

My name is Matthew Winick and I like to study history, world culture, and public policy. The main reason I have a strong interest in these subjects is to learn the need to advance on Civil Rights to help protect people who are different from being discriminated, protect the environment from pollution, and many others. Secretary Hagel, I find your work as U.S. Senator from Nebraska and as Secretary of Defense to be very inspiring to me.

When you served as a Republican U.S. Senator from Nebraska for two terms from 1997-2009, I was very proud on how you worked with then Democratic Senator Barack Obama and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin to help expand The American With Disabilities Act of 1990 to help protect people with disabilities from being discriminated in public with education and expand protection for people with disabilities in higher education. Also when you were in the U.S. Senate I really appreciate you being a moderate on different issues like supporting clean alternative energy to protect the environment, being a co-sponsor for immigration reform to help immigrants including illegal immigrants with citizenship while having border security, supporting the GI bill to help troops including veterans get healthcare with education, and your courage to stand up against the War In Iraq when both political parties supported the war which cost our country to lose our troops and was unwinnable. In  2013 I was very excited to hear that President Obama had appointed you to be the Next Secretary of Defense because I liked on how you worked with President Obama on helping our country. Secretary Hagel, I felt sorry that you went through the process of a political witch hunt when testifying in the Senate committees and from the media. However, I was very proud on how you became Secretary of Defense under President Obama and working with him to make a great difference for America . When you served as Secretary of Defense, I liked on how you continue being a strong supporter of Civil Rights to help protect women, minorities, people with disabilities from being discriminated in the military.  Also I liked on how you pushed the National Guard to provide benefits for same-sex domestic partnerships.  Another thing that I liked in your role as Secretary of Defense was on how you worked with other international countries to continue protecting the Artic around Alaska from pollution and express the need to continue protecting the artic from being threatened by global warming or a threat. During the 2013 fiscal crisis, I like your courage to give a portion of your salary to help federal workers who faced 14 days of furlough get assistance.

Secretary Hagel, I have Autism with a learning disability. Having a disability is hard for me because I have trouble comprehending on learning different subjects, sometimes I have trouble communication when speaking with other people, and sometimes I get teased.  Your support on expand the ADA legislation helped benefit me to get a higher education without being discriminated based on a disability. The expansion of the ADA helped set up accommodations for me like extra time on exams, allow a tutor work with me on different subjects, have educational software including a recorder to help me improve on comprehension with improve on note-taking skills, and have Learning Support Services help me set up accommodations with picking which classes to take. This resulted in me getting an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and graduating at Washenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2014. My main focus in my degree is government, history, some science, some business, and criminal justice. My future goal is to someday teach people about the need to improve society or work in public policy to help create good ideas to help move the country forward. I read your book “America: Our Next Chapter: Tough Questions, Straight Answers”. Your book was really great and I enjoy learning about your bio with your life as a businessman, serving in Vietnam War, and your political career, how the War in Iraq was a disaster, your ideas to improve the U.S. with ideas, and it helped me learn more about foreign policy about the Middle East and China.  Your work has inspired me to work hard on Autism and to continue my interest in history.

Secretary Hagel, I strongly believe that you made a great difference as Secretary of Defense and as U.S. Senator from Nebraska. I’m very proud on how you made great achievements, working with another political party on different issues, and working with President Obama. You have made a great impact on me to continue working hard on my disability, continue learning history, and reading your book.  Here is a story about working hard on my disability called “The Kid With No Words” where I dedicate you for inspiring me. I hope you get a chance to read it and feel proud for making a great difference for the world and me. Thanks for taking the time to read my letter including my story, making great achievements in your roles, and inspiring me. Please continue advocating to make a world a better place.


Matthew B. Winick

Secretary Hagel sent me a book that he wrote

Secretary Hagel's kind words and appreciation of me.

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