Panetta's son, an Afghanistan medal recipient, connects him to troops
WASHINGTON – Speaking in a confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Leon Panetta cited his son, a Bronze Star recipient who served in Afghanistan, to stress his connection to the troops he would lead as secretary of defense.
James Panetta was awarded the medal as a Navy Reserve lieutenant in late 2008 for exceptional service as an intelligence analyst who tracked high-value al-Qaida targets.
In presenting the medal, Naval Postgraduate School President Daniel Oliver said of the younger Panetta: "One day, Lt. Panetta had a normal life as an attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area and the next day was mobilized as a reservist serving his country in Afghanistan.”
James Panetta worked in support of a joint special operations task force in 2007 and 2008, according to a press release by the school.