David Petraeus' Comeback: Former CIA Director To Campaign for Veterans

Image: David Petraeus' Comeback: Former CIA Director To Campaign for Veterans

Monday, 29 Apr 2013 12:13 PM

By Megan Anderle

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Embattled four-star general David Petraeus, who led the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, has been laying low since he resigned as director of the CIA six months ago, when he admitted to having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. But that's about to change.

In an effort to rehabilitate his reputation, the former leader is planning a campaign to help military veterans acclimate into civilian life after deployments.

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Petraeus met with Kaj Larsen, a former Navy Seal whose organization The Mission Continues provides fellowships for veterans to do public service, to discuss how he can join the cause.

"I got the sense he would give his name to veterans' causes whether or not there was a scandal," he told Buzzfeed. "He's a little lonely and trying to figure it out like other returning veterans.

"I met with him and it just dawned on me that he's looking for a new mission and a new sense of purpose, and he went back to something that he was comfortable with," he added.

Petraeus also joined Team Red White and Blue, which brings veterans together through physical fitness and social events.

Last week, the City University of New York announced the decorated former leader will be teaching at the school in the fall as a visiting professor for public policy.

As his plans continue to surface, it appears high society has welcomed Petraeus back with open arms. He was the guest of honor at a dinner party Atlantic publisher David Bradley hosted, where the likes of Walter Isaacson, Andrea Mitchell, and Alan Greenspan dined, Buzzfeed reported. One source said the sex scandal was mentioned only obliquely, and his wife Holly was present at the event, a sign that she supports him through the recovery.

But Petraeus hasn't been let off the hook completely. Investigators are still probing whether he inappropriately shared secret documents with Broadwell; agents reportedly visited his home earlier this month, Buzzfeed notes.

Petraeus certainly isn't the first fallen leader to attempt a comeback. Most recently, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who was embroiled in his own scandal when he posted half-naked photos of himself on Twitter instead of sending them to his mistress, is eyeing a run for mayor of New York City. But Weiner has been far more in-your-face about his return compared to Petraeus. Weiner was the subject of a New York Times Magazine feature that toppled 10 pages and rejoined Twitter, just two of the ways he is increasing his visibility.

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Petraeus isn't frontal as that; friends say his intentions are more altruistic.

"You will not see him write a tell-all book," the friend said. "It's just not his style."

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