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Chuck Hagel, secretary of defense, answers questions during a visit aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Jan. 13. He also took time to take photos and hand out coins to Marines and Sailors.

Photo by Cpl. Melissa Lee

Secretary of defense visits MCAS Miramar, spoke with service members

13 Jan 2015 | Cpl. Melissa Lee 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

The Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Jan. 13.

The Honorable Mr. Hagel spoke to service members for one of the last times before leaving office.

He reminded Marines and Sailors about the importance of their hard work and dedication to the country.

“Somehow you were influenced to become a Marine -- something motivated you to at least look into it,” said Hagel. “I want to thank you for what you do for this country, what you have done for the country and what you will do for the country. It has been an honor being your secretary of defense.”

Hagel made remarks and answered questions before taking pictures with Marines and Sailors while handing out coins.

“It was great to meet someone famous from my very little hometown,” said Sgt. Chad Larkin, a consolidated bachelors’ quarters manager with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and a North Plat, Neb., native. “[It was important that he came here] because it shows that someone higher up really cares; he wants to show us that he cares.”

Hagel is slated to continue traveling to talk with other service members before a new secretary of Defense is appointed.