VA Secretary Robert McDonald offers Apologies for lying about Special Forces Service

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has apologized for making the fake claim about having served in the special operations forces. McDonald himself admitted that he lied in a conversation with a homeless veteran about having a role in the special operations forces. The conversation was caught on camera earlier this year.

McDonald was in Los Angeles as part of the VA's effort to locate and house homeless veterans. A homeless man told McDonald during the tour that he was in the special operations forces. McDonald asked the man about where he had served in the army. "He responded that he had served in special forces. I incorrectly stated that I had been in special forces. That was inaccurate and I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement", McDonald said in a statement released to Military Times late Monday night.

McDonald apologized for making false claims and said that he has great respect for those who have served the nation in special forces.

The White House released a statement Monday evening saying that McDonald's explanation has been accepted by it, expecting that this will not have any adverse impact on the important work he is doing to promote the health and well-being of nation's veterans.

McDonald succeeded retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki to take the post of VA this past summer. McDonald graduated from West Point in 1975 and also completed Army Ranger training before leaving the service in 1980. However, he had never been a part of a Ranger unit or any related to US commando force.

The apology has marked the second major correction for McDonald in the last week. He said in a statement on February 15 that termination of 60 department workers had happened in recent months because of problems linked to the VA's wait time scandal, but later corrected the statement by saying that only eight people were fired.

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