Kerry, Hagel Discuss National Security in Pentagon Meeting
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 6, 2013 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel hosted Secretary of State John F. Kerry at the Pentagon today for a working lunch to discuss a range of national security issues, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel presents Secretary of State John Kerry with a print of a painting from the Navy's art collection titled "Showing the Flag in Ca Mau (PT-71)" by Gerland Merfeld, during a working lunch to discuss various national security concerns at the Pentagon, May 6, 2013. Pentagon Press Secretary George E. Little said the piece remembers and honors Kerry's service to the Defense Department and the nation. It is the first time both the sitting secretary of state and defense secretary are Vietnam War combat veterans. DOD photo by U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
This was the first meeting of the two secretaries at the Pentagon since they both took their respective offices earlier this year, Little said in a statement issued after the meeting.
Hagel presented Kerry with a print of a painting from the Navy's art collection titled "Showing the Flag in Ca Mau (PT-71)" by Gerland Merfeld, Little said. “Mr. Merfeld made this painting in 1969 while an embedded illustrator with the U.S. Navy,” he added. “It depicts two Navy patrol craft boats on the Mekong River delta in the far south of Vietnam.”
Hagel presented the painting to remember and honor Kerry's service to the Defense Department and the nation, Little said, noting that this is the first time that both the sitting secretary of state and secretary of defense are Vietnam War combat veterans.
The original painting is part of the Navy’s permanent collection. It is on exhibition at the Navy Museum here and will be transferred to the State Department for viewing throughout Kerry's tenure, Little said.
Hagel was grateful to receive a signed photograph from Kerry taken during their February 2008 congressional delegation visit to Afghanistan along with Vice President Joe Biden, who then was a U.S. senator, he added.