Chuck Hagel calls troops in Afghanistan, gets Omahan on the line - Omaha.com
Published Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm / Updated at 1:00 pm
Chuck Hagel calls troops in Afghanistan, gets Omahan on the line

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made a round of Thanksgiving calls to deployed service members Thursday morning that included an airman from Omaha.

According to information released by the Pentagon, Hagel had an extended chat with Staff Sgt. Jerry Nong, 28, who is deployed to Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.

Hagel also made calls to service members in the other service branches and to other parts of the world.

Nong was born in Vietnam but his family moved to Omaha when he was 6, and his parents still live in Omaha. He's been back to Vietnam a couple of times.

He and the secretary discussed Nong's seven-year career in the Air Force, Vietnam and Nebraska.

Hagel volunteered for service in the Vietnam War and was wounded twice there as an infantry sergeant.

Nong is now deployed with the 455th Expeditionary Communications Squadron, leading a group of airmen responsible for installing and maintaining communications equipment.

He's been recognized more than once, including by the army garrison commander at the base.

The secretary reportedly told Nong that he was proud of everything he was doing but disappointed to learn the Omahan was not a die-hard Cornhusker fan.

Rather, he's an avid follower of the NBA, particularly the Chicago Bulls.

Contact the writer: Joseph Morton

joe.morton@owh.com    |  

Joe is The World-Herald's Washington, D.C., bureau, covering national political developments that matter most to Midlanders.

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