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U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to be Commencement Speaker at Lansing Community College May 18

Watch LiveLANSING 4/16/12 – The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki, retired U.S. Army General and current U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), will be the speaker at Lansing Community College’s (LCC) 54th Commencement, Friday, May 18.

This follows remarks he made in February to the American Association of Community Colleges in which he lauded LCC for its unique "Military Medic to Paramedic" program that offers military medics an accelerated path to licensed paramedic and nursing degrees.

"We are very honored to welcome Secretary Shinseki to our Commencement next month," said LCC Board of Trustees Chair Larry Meyer. "After a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Army, he is now transforming the VA to better serve the nation's veterans, including LCC students who served in the military."

President Barack Obama nominated Shinseki to become Secretary of Veterans Affairs and he was sworn in January 21, 2009. Under his leadership, the VA has increased Veterans' access to benefits and services, eased the disability claims backlog, and made strides towards ending homelessness among Veterans. He is also a champion of expanding employment options for Veterans.

Before becoming Secretary, Shinseki served as Chief of Staff, United States Army, from 1999 to June 11, 2003, and retired from active duty in August 2003. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he led the Army during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and integrated the pursuit of the Global War on Terrorism with Army Transformation, successfully enabling the Army to continue to transform while at war.

Prior to becoming the Army's Chief of Staff, Secretary Shinseki served as the Vice Chief of Staff from 1998 to 1999. He previously served simultaneously as Commanding General, United States Army, Europe and Seventh Army; Commanding General, NATO Land Forces, Central Europe; and, Commander of the NATO-led Stabilization Force, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

He joined the Army in 1965 and served two tours of duty in Vietnam, wounded both times.

Lansing Community College's Commencement will take place on Friday, May 18 at 7 p.m. at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center, Michigan State University.

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