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V.A. Secretary Apologizes for Embellishing Military Record PDF Print E-mail
Robert A. McDonald, the secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department, apologized on Monday for falsely claiming last month that he had served in the Special Forces.
Mr. McDonald, a 1975 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, served in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, where he completed jungle, arctic, desert warfare and Ranger training, according to his official biography.

But his assertion to a homeless veteran in Los Angeles that he was in the Special Forces — captured on camera for a CBS News report — was false, he acknowledged on Monday. His initial claim was first reported by The Huffington Post.

Mr. McDonald said in a statement that his claim “was inaccurate, and I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement.”
“I have great respect for those who have served our nation in Special Forces,” Mr. McDonald said. “They, and all veterans, deserve a Department of Veterans Affairs that provides them the care and benefits they have earned.”

He said he would “remain committed” to improving veterans’ services and overhauling the department.
White House officials said they accepted Mr. McDonald’s explanation.

“Secretary McDonald has apologized for the misstatement and noted that he never intended to misrepresent his military service,” the White House said. “We take him at his word and expect that this will not impact the important work he’s doing to promote the health and well-being of our nation’s veterans.”

 
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