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Chuck Hagel Gets Boost From Firefighters Union

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Chuck Hagel is getting some help from his friends in his effort to become the next secretary of Defense.

The International Association of Fire Fighters, which made its support of Hagel known in early January, is launching an ad campaign to support the former Nebraska Republican senator's nomination. A TV spot will air this week in the Washington, D.C., market on cable and satellite television, while print ads will run next week in The Hill and Politico.

The ads by the union outline Hagel's bravery and accolades while serving in Vietnam, his support for the Bush administration in its search for Osama Bin Laden after 9/11 and his experience serving on President Barack Obama's Intelligence Advisory Board.

"Hagel supported fire fighters when he was in the Senate, and our mantra has always been that we support those who support us. Now that President Obama has nominated the senator to lead the Defense Department, we will continue to support him," said IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger in a statement.

The IAFF declined to provide details on how much the group is spending on the ad buy.

The IAFF's assistance comes as anti-Hagel groups pour money into opposing his nomination. A recent Sunlight Foundation report revealed that groups hoping to stop Hagel from being confirmed have spent at least $212,000 on TV ads.

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