The Senate confirmed by unanimous consent James Peake, a former Army surgeon general, as Veterans Affairs secretary. Retired Lt. Gen. Peake, 63, has spent 40 years in military medicine. He retired from the Army in 2004 after being lead commander in several medical posts, including four years as Army Surgeon General. President Bush said one of Peake's first tasks would be to continue to implement recommendations of the presidential commission on veterans care chaired by former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.), and former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala. Widely supported by both Democrats and Republicans, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee endorsed his nomination earlier in the week. -- by Associated Press
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