Secretary McDonald ‘Misspoke’ On 900 Fired VA Employees

Secretary McDonald

Benjamin KrauseVA public affairs corrected false numbers given out by Secretary McDonald last week when he boasted about agency accountability on Meet the Press, but the story does not end there. When it comes to accountability, McDonald boasted that 900 employees were fired since he took over and of that 60 people were fired in connection with the wait list fraud.

NBC News just published the right numbers after a lot of hoopla surrounding the claims McDonald made. One Department of Veterans Affairs official told NBC that the secretary “misspoke” while talking on the subject of accountability.

Perhaps McDonald thought accountability meant just a series of “warnings” like in elementary school leading up to an inevitable time out?

Paperwork provided by the House Committee on Veterans Affairs shows VA proposed disciplinary action for only 75 people linked to the scandal. Of those, only 8 were fired. If you include those allowed to retire or resign, then the number increases to 16 terminated VA employees. If true, this means mean McDonald inflated the numbers by almost 400%.

As for the 900 fired VA employees number, McDonald apparently counted 487 “probationary terminations.” These are VA employees who are terminated during a tryout period when they first start out in the federal government.

I have to wonder, if this is what VA accountability, then we are certainly on par with the past 80 years of agency bungling with no real accountability, whatsoever.

Sadly, the story does not end there.

Secretary McDonald was also caught on tape recently falsely claiming he served in the Special Forces to a homeless veteran in a Jan. 30 CBS News story, “Special forces? What years? I was in special forces!”

Like the accountability claim on Meet the Press, VA public relations has also announced that McDonald’s statement was false. While at West Point, McDonald did complete Army Ranger training, but he did not serve in the Special Forces.

When asked by Huffington Post for comment, McDonald took ownership for his error:

“I have no excuse,” McDonald told The Huffington Post, when contacted to explain his claim. “I was not in special forces.”

McDonald’s remark came to light after several retired military officers noticed his remark on the CBS tape, days after NBC News anchor Brian Williams was suspended for fabricating stories about his reporting experiences in Iraq and elsewhere.

McDonald told The Huffington Post that he “wanted to clear up the confusion I probably created — I did create” in the exchange with the homeless man in L.A. Saying he was in special forces, McDonald said, “is not right. I was not in special forces. What I said was wrong.”

While I am disappointed with these seemingly endless ‘Brian Williams’ moments McDonald keeps happening, I am thankful he is quick to admit his errors. This is in stark contrast to past VA leaders who hide behind the agency’s bureaucratic wall of silence.

When it comes to accountability, I blame agency roadblocks to accountability that likely have more to do with union contracts that decisions from McDonald.


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  1. @TAC i have no idea. history shows the “bonus march 1932” certainly got many veterans to march as nothing else was working to solve their grievances at the time. i mention that to illustrate that nothing else worked until they marched/protested. veterans, like this site, can put more notes/notices out on the web media regarding veterans’ justified grievances and a march. a leader/group might take up the cause then. one thing is abundantly clear, nothing has worked, generally speaking, so far. ask most veterans, ask unbiased investigative journalists, interest groups(rep or dem), they too know nothing has really worked. just read this site or hadit site from young or old veterans postings. the story hasn’t changed in years, has it? if it has then i stand corrected.

    1. To Cantigny You ARE correct! You are correct concerning the “Bonus March”! Yet, since then there have been many ‘marches’ on Washington D.C. concerning other ‘issues’. The mid ’60s and on into the ’70s are a great example of what people CAN accomplish. The difference I see with todays population is that people have become ‘apathetic’. They either don’t want to, or refuse to, stand up for what is they believe in! For example, In 2009, President Obama went on a ‘late night talk show’ and stated, the people (of the United States) do not know, and are unaware of the ‘laws’ that have been passed without their knowledge. That in itself is not to my liking and ran chills up my spine! One ‘law’ for example is; Retirement benefits of seniors could be cut as much as 60% or more. I have spoke with retirees (who were never in the military) and who had no knowledge of this “New Law”! This was brought out in2011. Then in 2014, additional information was brought to the public on other ‘laws’ which had been enacted.
      What I would hope, and pray for, is the ‘PEOPLE’ stand up and say enough is enough! I’m not sure if you have seen ‘news reports’ concerning Ferguson, Mo. Americans all stood up and there IS going to be ‘change’. It is only sad it took a form of ‘Civil Unrest’ to get the change. I am NOT calling for civil unrest. What I am calling for is our “Constitutional Right to Peaceful Assembly” to voice our complaints and concerns to the ‘Assemblies’!
      There was a ‘report’ made on:
      Where two Republicans and one Democrat had gone before Congress and told what had happened to them by VA Employees. The Democrat Rep. David Scott, (D-Ga.) “bellowed” his discontent concerning VA Employees lying to him! I would ask these representatives, How does it feel to be lied too? Veterans, Spouses of Veterans, Children of Veterans, Parents of Veterans and Tax-payers have been lied to for decades by VA Employees. So, again, How does it feel?
      Here’s other websites to visit: – Stars and or org – VAmalpractice These sites give not a too flattering report when it comes to the VA. I will bet there are other sites that are out there also……..
      Sir, Remember this from Ben Franklin; evil only persists when good men (and women) do nothing!

      Maybe one day a ‘march’ will happen. Thanks for listening

      1. @TAC, apology for reply delay. ups-n-down of health as they say. enjoyed reading your thoughts. ‘apathetic’ is certainly one of many descriptive terms for today’s population. i didn’t see that episode on tv you mentioned, but is not that ironic that his WH and supporters are probably the least transparent governing body the USA has had in years? no wonder most people in USA aren’t aware of laws that have been passed. they too, sneak so many laws under the pork radar as it were. then again, i suspect you are also referring to the bizarre state of awareness lacking in our country amongst the general population that doesn’t know much beyond their five feet of personal space, unless it affects their wallet.

        i suspect many in the veteran community have had that very thought rumble around in the brain, “So, again, How does it feel?” when these Congress members get lied to by VA like that. look how many times Jeff Miller has been lied to by VA in all those hearings by VA and letters from VA to him over the years. at the least, and from a veterans’ perspective, we like that the Congress members now admit they are being lied too where as in the past they just accepted whatever the VA told them as truth.

        thanks for the links to the other websites. i had not heard of the site before. it is quite interesting.

        and i have not forgotten what Mr Franklin said, appreciate the remider.

        maybe, maybe about that march-protest-assembly. maybe more than just veterans and their grievances. i foresee no real fundamental change at VA in veterans favor without it.

    2. Sir, here are some more facts, 1.) Since the ‘fiscal year’ of 2013 to present, more than $400+ million has been given out by the VA in malpractice and tort claims. 2.) there are 3 or 4 new hospitals being built which are so over budget no one knows when they will be finished. The worst ones are in Colorado (which may top a One Billion Dollar Cost) and Florida (which is millions of dollars over-budget), as reported in the news media. 3.) there are 53 or 54 construction projects going on where no one truly knows the final costs or date of completions. These, and other ‘stories can be found all over the internet! All one has to do is look, and ye shall find! Maybe this is why the GAO has decided, correctly, to list the VA at “High Risk for Waste and Fraud!”
      There is also a 338 acre land “fiasco’ going on in southern Los Angeles (below Brentwood) that has been in violation of the law for a number of years. On Feb. 11, 2015 the ‘subcommittee of the House Veterans Affairs Committee’ flat stated the VA in south Los Angeles WAS in violation of the law….. As reported by the Washington Examiner by Luke Rosiak.

  2. Here’s are some questions. It has been reported that only “…27,000 out of 8.2 million Vets have ‘signed up’ for the Veterans Choice Card Program!” And now, Mr. McDonald stated, due to the low numbers, he wishes to divert monies from this ‘program’ to other programs within the VA. WHY?
    In my opinion, it is because the ‘wording’ in the new ‘law’ is ambiguous and misleading. Example, Step 1, part 1 says, “Have you been told by your local VA medical facility that you will need to wait more than 30 days from your preferred date or the date medically determined by your physician?” If one looks at this statement closely, then the following is true- The physician/tech says to a Vet/patient, “I want to see you within (3) three weeks.” If the ‘scheduler’ cannot get the vet/patient in during that ‘preferred date’, the ‘scheduler’ then has (30) thirty days from then to get him/her in to an appointment. A vet/patient could, in reality, wait up to (51) fifty one days, possibly longer, to be seen. This makes the vet/patient ‘ineligible’ for outside medical care! The VA, originally wanted to get the vet/patient in within a 30 day period. Looks like that isn’t going to happen!
    Step 1.) part 2, says, “Is your current residence more than 40 miles from the closest VA health care facility?” The VA, it has been reported, uses the “as the crow flies” calculation for travel. If this be the case, I believe, again, there will be an extremely low amount of vets/patients, throughout our nation, who will NOT be granted permission to use this program!
    So, in my opinion again, The amount of Veterans ‘eligible’ for this ‘program’ WILL BE extremely low.
    And, I would like to know the following. Out of the 27,000 vets who allegedly signed up for this ‘program’, how many have been granted permission to use this “program”? No one is being given an answer to this question! I know I’m not the only one to ask this question.
    Has anyone asked their Congressional Leaders or Senators these and other questions? If not then the saying, “The only way for evil to persist is for good men (and women) to do nothing!”

    1. The Choice program was set up to in fact fail due to the strings and regulations they put into it. This was told to me secretly by the policy/legislative national director of a large traditional veterans organization which is using and abusing us veterans as policy/legislation is being made by a few at the top of traditional veterans organizations and noir by members ( i.e. polls, surveys, talking got us, etc)

      There si nothing the VA wants as well as the government and traditional veterans groups then to have an intact VA There is a co -dependent/symbiotic relationship between traditional veterans groups
      including funding , and the VA and government against privatization and the Choice program

      All the strings and all the regulations in Choice are done to in fcfat limit and blunt any privatization of medical services and to allow the VA and traditional veterans groups to have total control . In the latest edition of the American Legion is against any privatization of the VA as are all organizations In a private surgery as Ben will tell you by DAV the survey is written for an expected outcome and that is to blunt any privatization of the VA and that really includes the choice program Its a crumb they have tossed to us veterans but there is no choice and there will be no privatization for all of us to have a “Choivce:” unless we start to take down traditional veteran groups policy and legislation and their codependency with the VA. Do you think an organization that takes money to process climbs for disabled vets by the VA or has programs that the VA funds that any of the traditional veterans organizations are going to bite the hand that feeds them??

      Do you think that traditional veterans groups when they try to get help for single veterans are going to bad mouth or ever take the VA to court or file criminal charges against the VA as that would not be with their core mission of helping individual vets with claims, etc

      In the latest is a article about Concerned veterans of America and the bad mouthing against them by every traditional veterans group there is because Concerned Veterans of America want privatization and choice of veterans who want private medical and the VA into a makeover of a government non profit corporation.

      As told to me and my congressmen a fat lie the Choice Program told us that veterans also had a 3rd eligibility dealing with the clinical appropriateness of the 30 day medical appointment rule THis they lied about and explained to Congressmen Joseph Pitts-R-PA office who did nothing about it here in Reading Pa that if a vet needed a colonostomy or urology or eye clinic (macular degeneration, cataract, etc) versus abet with cancer or heart problems the cancer or heart problem vet had to be seen within 30 days while the other vets could be given appointments beyond the 30 day appointment rule. Another fat lie by the Choice program and covered up by OIG and the VA when reported !!

      The problem also exists is that there is in fact b written rules when Choice is questioned nor will congressmen do a thing like Joe Pitts Office -R_Pa nor Senator Toomeys office -R-PA to correct this matter in Choice. The facts are it can take another 30 days to 120 days to get a choice appointment approved !! It has to go through the VAMC from the scheduling clerk then through that VAMC for approval and then on to Choice VAMC for approval taking another 30-120 days and thus defeating the legislative inert of the programs The stupid choice and stupid VA never put in time limit rules on how long it takes to get Choice approved. If they want to screw you the choice request can lie on some clerk or administrators desk at the VAMC you request choice from for months or even be lost !!

      Secondly no private physician wants to take choice payments as they are low payments from the VA and as well physicians have to wait months for payment . Thus private physicians will not participate . Try to fond one.

      All this and the bearocratic regulations and mess they placed on Choice, veterans dont want the hassle !! Its why Choice was purposely made to pacify us but made to in fact fail for the above reasons on purpose while defiantly supported by traditional veteran groups who do not want privatization nor the Choice program !! These are the facts

      Disabled veterans need to join the Centers for Independent living -CILS and the National Council for Independent Living for persons with disability and join the disabled veterans committee to get our civil rights . Centers for Indepednt Living as well as all disabled people demonstrate . organize, picket, march, sit in , write and pickett legislators , meet with the press, sue with disability lawyers for their civil rights, etc

      The Centers for Independent Living want all disabled veterans to join them and their advocacy and other programs, i.e. attendant care, independent living skills training, disabilities counseling, etc Persons with disabilities have won their rights now its time for us disabled veterans to win ours .

      As the Director of a CIL from Philadelphia Pa in the 1980’s we sued many organizations for the rights of people with disability i.e. City of Philadelphia and its shelters, Philadelphia Nursing Home, SEPTA, etc etc
      We got 18 new state funded consumer run centers for indepdnt living in Pennsylvania via Senator Hardy Williams (west Philadlephia) We got an state attendant care/homemaker services program for people ages 18-60 for all people with disabilities in Pennsylvania, accessible road and street cuts, accessible transpiration, etc etc

      Its now time all disabled veterans become members of their local CILS to fight against the VA and to obtain our civil rights to best quality care and to obtain our rightful benefits in an expedite manner .

      Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
      US Navy- Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
      Vetreans advocate/ Veterans Civil Rights Advocate
      [email protected]

      1. Sir, you are completely right. That program and the VA is, in my opinion, a ‘total farce’! We, as veterans, and our spouses, SHOULD march on Washington D.C. and demand something be done. Just think of the young men and women serving overseas now. Think about what they are hearing and reading in the news media. NON, or very little, of it is flattering when it comes to the VA and Veterans groups here. when they return HOW ARE THEY GOING TO BE TREATED? How are the Veterans Groups going to treat them (Once their money is paid [dues] they don’t give a damn about the vet? of course that is my opinion!
        Have you noticed though how many voice their concerns, yet fail to follow through. If this is the mindset of veterans, spouses of veterans and taxpayers, how can we succeed?
        When, and not if, Mr. McDonald does get monies going to other programs which was earmarked for the Choice Plan, where is it truly going? What is it going to be used for? Is it going to be used to pay-out bonuses to directors, physicians etc. etc. etc.? How can this be stopped? When is the ‘middle-economic class’ (which has been over-taxed for years) going to say; ENOUGH? It seems every time on turns around, a new tax is being brought about. When is this madness going to end?

  3. Sorry, but he needs to step down. He has no integrity. The MAIN thing he wanted to establish at the VA.

  4. In reply to the OP’s who brought up marching-protesting, I suspect many many agree…

    Its past time and the time is right for veterans to march, roll, hobble, limp, jump, crawl, onto DC. We have had a few bight lights into the dark parts of VA with a few good congress people, a few good legal people, Lord knows how many good caretakers & veterans themselves, a few good VSOs, a few good VA employee’s, and look at the state of veterans affairs 2015! the few good people/groups i mentioned, and i’m sure some i forgot, haven’t and can’t make the wide changes required.

    Just look at the recent “choice program”. The VA, some in Congress & the WH itself are now involved with wanting to divert funds from that new program. Some veterans have only had that card for less than a month! What of the state of VBA and its who-knows-who-associations with people at VA…doctors? kickbacks? bonuses? you hear these things, and could be just rumors, but what does the investigative journalists’ reports over the years tell your instincts?? Look what we are up against.

    We will have to march, meaning a big organized march. Like unions do. Maybe veterans should have their own union or similar? As you say, they are getting away with murder, destruction of quality of life, outright federal laws broken, etc, etc, and seems NO ONE is held accountable! no lying doctor, no manager, no C&P quack, no VBA illegal-tactic, zilch.

    Yes, the director at phoenix VA was held accountable, but my goodness, the avalanche of evidence and news coverage and still almost no one moved on firing her, until the bitter end! it’s like the VA has diplomatic immunity, does it not?

    Unless you see another legal way…websites? tv? radio? twitter? reddit? what then?? The Constitution affords citizens the right to freedom of assembly to defend their grievances. Nothing else has, “really”, worked has it? The VA is certainly counting on veterans minding their manners and doing the right thing, which for most veterans has been yes-sir, yes-mam, follow orders, do the right thing…while they keep doing “their thing”. Stand up for yourself and you get a notorious label at VA. Don’t think so?, ask some whistle-blowers and veterans who have had this done.

    As others have said and know, its going to take a LARGE organized gathering of veterans to stand with one another. The VA is too big and powerful and is crushing the individual that stands up. Maybe you’ve felt that sting yourself or witnessed it. Maybe you’re just hoping to get your benefits, keeping quiet and the heck with others hoping it doesn’t happen to you?

    We’re veterans, certainly no reason to quit now as most of us have already lost quite a bit. Recollect just what you’ve lost in social(family/friends), time, money dealing with your disability issues with VA/VBA. Your claims process has been going on for how many YEARS!?

    Ask experts like Ben, et al, research other respected veterans’ sites and see the “common thread” of the past few years. Compare to years ago. what do you see? The core corruption hasn’t changed. If anything it has gotten worse and brought more to the front page.

    Its that current front page, I’m willing to bet, that recently has gotten most Congress people to move on helping veterans with the VA. All of us, who have dealt with this for the past 40+ years knows, Congress hasn’t been much help at all until recently, generally speaking. A few exceptions, sure. But overall, no.

    1. Great idea. One problem, who will start the March? Seems to me only a few want to voice an opinion, then back off. There has got to be a way though. So, is there a way to start this march on Washington?


      I was the victim of recrimination by the George Whalen VA system in Salt Lake City after filing a complaint…

      I hadn’t been to any regularly scheduled appointment at the VA in over six years. I showed up at an appointment on 6 September 2012 where the attending PA was so rude and discourteous, I told her I could afford to pay for private care elsewhere. I mentioned this to the PA who replied with a demand I leave the VA satellite clinic in Taylorsville, Utah. leave! imagine that?

      I hadn’t been scene at a regular appointment in the system in over six years–had recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan–and now I’m being asked to leave an appointment looking for answers about my internal bleeding because I kept having microscopic amounts of blood in my urine.

      Then while leaving the VA, I’m caught in a traffic accident where I’m broadsided by someone running a red light–and immediately subsequent to leaving the appointment at the VA just down the street!

      So I call the VA and make a complaint about the PA who told me to leave. The complaint disappears from the records and in its place, a 27 page “mental health” note appears in my file–complete with fabricating that I had then — the day following this accident and where my car is towed from the scene–a record placed into my file I know nothing about stating how I attended a mental health appointment at the VA on the day following my accident?

      Ironically, my car had been towed from the scene of the accident the previous day of this ‘appointment’ and corresponding ‘diagnosis’ despite no testing diagnostic records. Couple that with I couldn’t stomach the VA and was boycotting any association–to then be broadsided by the VA’s 27 page “mental health crisis intervention record” then placed into my file complete with a fabrication of a mental health appointment I have no knowledge of!

      Then during the course of the accident case stemming from being broadsided when I left the VA–the VA knowingly releases these fabricated mental health records to a private attorney firm in Salt Lake now representing the person who created the accident when running a red light and being ticketed! –

      These records are then discovered during a deposition where I was then deposed for six hours (9 January 2015) on these VA mental health records I know nothing about–compete with being interrogated about my veteran “political activity” as a veteran here in Utah within the scope of this deposition about a god damned car accident I have fault in? Just to weird and bizarre!

      A. Johnson / SLC UTAH

      USN, USAR: Iraq and Afghanistan (2008-2010) as a contractor.

      1. Aaron, that story and experience is tripping balls! Wow, really? It is honestly that ass backwards fucked off in Utah? I mean if what you are saying is true they would have committed well over 10 separate felony offenses against themselves…….. wow, be VERY careful, because what we are seeing now is that VA develop better policing habits…. that is to say, the police pull you over and the situation ends in you being tazed and going to jail, meanwhile your wifes begging a cop the whole time to roll the windows up due to below freezing temps and having an 8 month baby in the are. The driver gets charged with felony resisting arrest though he only demanded the unidentifiable police show him two forms of ID, they slap him with a felony assault, and they hit him with a felony endangering a minor – ALL CHARGES FILED AGAINST THIS FELLOW WERE THE EXACT CRIIMES COMMITTED AGAINST HIM! WTF OVER?

        Beware, the VA is now beginning to do just that, they corner you and charge you with the exact crimes they have committed upon you.

        I think its time to start building the list. forming up to march on up and through this heap of shit sooner than later.


  5. Here’s an interesting “Fact”. In an ‘article’ of the “Stars and Stripes”, since 1999 to present, there has been seven (7) VA Directors. This means each one has served, on the average 2.2 years in office. The longest running one was Mr. Shenseki (sic) at a little over three (3) years. This tells me (IMO) there has been one FUBAR after another. It is without reservation I state that THE VA NEEDS A COMPLETE OVERHAUL!
    Stars and Stripes, in the past months has been extremely critical concerning the VA. If you find a copy, or more, one will be able to ‘look up’ more articles. In My Opinion this speaks volumes!
    There is also another website where many pages (18) tell about the goings on in the VA across this Nation. When one ‘clicks on’ one story it gives even more stories to go to. One can also ‘click onto a month and year for additional info. For ex: there are stories concerning Drs. and nurses being investigated, and prosecuted, for ‘drugs’ at their VAOC’s. The list goes on and on and on.
    The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and other reputable News papers, along with News Stations across this nation also talk about the many unfavorable ‘acts and actions of VA employees. All one has to do is look, and one will find.


  6. the incorrect stating of the number of individuals whom have been let go from the V.A. is what worries me……the termination of those “probationary” employee’s…..shshshshhshsh

  7. It don’t look too good now, and P&G is the scum of the corporate world. But even at that, it’s better than most politicians. At least he acknowledges how many he should fire and respects Special Forces enough to lie about it. He hasn’t done anything yet, but maybe there is hope. If the VA improves, I don’t care about the leader serving in Special Forces. He was a vet and he did train hard to do what he did.

    I’m pulling for him, because right now, he is the best hope we have for an impossible organizational turnover. Give him a break and see if he can do more than the Disney Land bs. If not, kick his ass out. I’m getting mixed signals from the District Office. Vital Staff members are kicking butt hard, but the work force seems hopeless and sending mixed signals to Vets. Maybe I’ll pack a Mickey ears cap next visit to get better service from the work force. It pisses me off to hear propaganda coming from the clueless employees, that really don’t know how and when to act like they have a purpose. Organizational divisiveness only stalls any progress from getting started.

    1. Phil, it’s not out of respect for SF, but more than likely out of FEAR. It’s one thing to say you were military and have never been, but it is an entirely different ball game when someone claims to be former SF who wasn’t. If I’m not mistaken I believe that if someone is caught suggesting they are/were SF and they are not, the person has a very high chance of being personally visited by members who help to enforce extracurricular mindfulness so that said types will not violate themselves with such claims ever again.

      Sounds like a party to me! haha

  8. This has been reported on many radio talk shows today Lets face it folks McDonalds conduct is just like the brass he was in the service and a lot of west point people like Lt Col Dan Gade think that veterans are something below them generally expect for officers NOw that they are in high positions on the outside they think that we can be mistreated lied to and abused as we were in the service If one looks back on the Vietnam War there was a persons by the name of Andy Stapp of American Servicemen Union who also write a book titled “Up Against the Brass” It was a movement within the armed forces to unionize enlisted ranks . I would personally see the abuse from newly commissioned officers out of west point who believed do it by the academy book with chiefs and enlisted who were in for 20-30 years and listen to no one. On my ship we would take on midshipmen who demanded we salute them and treat them like royalty while in fact they had the ranks of enlisted personal

    What your seeing in MCDonald and a lot of these so called leaders is that they think they are still in the military and can do anything they want and treat anyone the way they want

    What veterans should do is write their congressmen about McDonald and charge him with criminal negligence and abandonment to provide any service at all to that homeless disabled veteran. He was so compromising that he insulted the homeless veteran by platting bigsot But the biggest fault is that this homeless veteran is someones lost son, ,, someones lost homeless husband or father who has been abandoned by his government and the Veterans Administration




    US Navy, Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
    Veterans Advocate/ Veterans Civil Rights Advocate
    [email protected]

  9. So, McDonald lied to the veteran about being in special forces so he could make the guy feel more comfortable.

    YUP. That’s what we want. To be lied to so we feel more comfortable.

  10. He lied! Don’t forget, Shinseki also lied. As has just about every politician who ever was ever elected, (remember the ‘promises’ made by all). One must remember, Mr. McDonald is a politician. Nothing more, nothing less. They make promises of what they will do for us, then forget about us once in! It has not changed in decades and I truly don’t believe it ever will be!
    I’m not as upset over his lie on his military serve, as I am over his (lie) on “Meet the Press”. Come on Bob, do what’s right. Fix the VA as you promised!!!!

    1. Actually, he has NO experience as a “politician”, as he has been Corporate CEO for last three decades at Proctor & Gamble.
      So you are okay with the lying on a “selective lie basis”?
      Politician or otherwise, someone wanting to exude a presence of respect and integrity simply does not deserve respect nor possess ANY integrity IF they lie in any form AND are publically called on their varied lies.
      I hope you know it is in-fact a CRIME to lie about one’s Military Service and one whom does this that’s especially the Secretary of the VA, does none of us Veterans ANY service by being a poser.
      (I do not swallow the “I misspoke” line…sorry)
      He simply further cheapens this Country’s perception of we Veterans because after all, he is supposed to be a “representative of us all”, and do not know about you, but I for one am not a liar, thus I am being misrepresented.

      But…according to your thinking, because ALL politicians lie, it’s okay? WTF?!

      1. namnibor, McDonald worked for P & G for 33 years, he was only the CEO for the last three years of employment there. He was also ‘pushed out’! To be that high up, one has to be ‘political’ in nature. You know, learn how to lie. McDonald lies. He did nothing, and has done nothing, when it comes to the VA, except give rhetoric and lies… That, in my opinion, is a POLITICIAN. Also, you must have forgotten, President Obama, “repealed” the ‘stolen valor law’ that President G.W. Bush enacted right after he got in the first time.
        It is only against the law now to receive any form of compensation, (money, or other forms of ‘entitlements’) for stating incorrect military service to any agency (Federal, state etc. etc. etc.) with fraudulent documents.
        And, AGAIN, it is NOT okay for anyone to lie, selective or not!!!!
        My husband IS a true veteran. U.S. Army 1966-69. (Vietnam Jan. 1968- Jan. 1969), U.S. Navy 1975, ‘Operation Fluid Drive’ June 20, 1976, Beirut, Lebanon (evacuation of civilians at the Beirut airport). He is not a hero. He will tell you the only true hero’s are on the ‘Walls” in Washington D.C.!!!! He does not have to, nor does he talk about his many years in the service. Nor does he claim to be that which he wasn’t!!!!!
        Why didn’t McDonald show any compassion to the homeless veteran. Instead of the rhetoric he ‘exclaimed’!

      2. KatterKat,

        how bizarre that you say this

        ” Also, you must have forgotten, President Obama, “repealed” the ‘stolen valor law’ that President G.W. Bush enacted right after he got in the first time.”

        and then this
        “And, AGAIN, it is NOT okay for anyone to lie, selective or not!!!!”

        it’s bizarre because that is exactly what your post does!

        Your bigotry against our President is palpable and disgusting.

        The Supreme Court of the United States invalidated the overreach of President Bush’s version of the Stolen Valor Act. It criminalized free (if disrespectful) speech in violation of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

        You can find the order here,

        and since people who rant like you have here, tend to claim “judicial activism” anytime a competent court does not hand you a victory, here is a a link describing the authority and history of SCOTUS to declare Congressional laws unconstitutional.

        Now get a clue and leave the echo chamber and join the 21st century, where any fake claim you make can quickly be debunked.

  11. I bet McDonald is getting ready to tell us about the time he was in a Blackhawk gunship over a hot LZ then he and Brian Williams came under fire by a bunch of skinnies with RPG’s. He is a Fucking asshole insurance agent, used car salesman, stolen valor, worthless piece of smooth talking veteran cheating and killing little shit!

  12. Brian Williams a news man is thrown UNDER the bus…he does not affect the health and welfare of me as a Vet…HOWEVER- Mc Donald is just another corp raider and he is displaying his true colors…wheres the media and “fox news” outrage? Guess it doesnt matter because we as Vets have no clout with the one percenters…many in congress consider us leaches and would cut our benefits at will.

  13. The problem is that as Veterans the “Joke” is on use because we are allowing the President, Congressman, Senator’s, VA Management along with Nasty Disrespectful VA Employee’s to disrespect us. They will continue to do so until we come together as one and make the system change for us. We are the Veterans who served our country and made sacrifices leaving our spouses, children, parents and employment to make sure we live in a society where we can walk, talk, drive and spend money freely but are treated like “SECOND CLASS CITIZENS”. We have the highest rate of unemployment and suicide among non-veterans within the United States…I hurt everyday internally because we gave so much to our country and receive so little in return.
    If we keep going this way, there will be no young men and women wanting to defend our “Country” I want to ask a question to my fellow Veterans? If we were not afraid to serve our “Country” Why the “Hell” are scared of some damn GS-3,4,5,6, etc. we should not be afraid to speak up for what we have earned….
    I am thankful for the Veterans who made a way for me to become a Veteran. It took me 27 years to obtain my 100% Rating after appealing every denial over the 27 years. Too my fellow veterans never give up…

    Danny Toliver, USMC-100% Disabled-Veteran

    1. Danny, this is the we things operate when a government has outgrown its purpose, it begins to intrude upon our privacy, freedom and free wills, and becomes blatant in its offenses. American Corporations support departments are another spitting image of this fact. Haven’t you noticed how many support groups really don’t give a shit anymore? Then ya wonder why our governments’ doing it? Wonder where they got the lead from? Revolution is Immanent. It need not be violent but it need be present.

  14. Resign???

    How about Impeached!

    I fail to comprehend how there is never any legal consequences to these crimes? Be it legal or moral, you can’t have a leader committing morale crimes against the very men and women he is sworn to serve, it’s the fox guarding the henhouse.

    Have some damn integrity Bob, and just step down… Next !

    -Just another jarhead in San Jose

  15. Rather than just repeat the broken record of events how about we start suggesting solutions? I have a suggestion. Since the US Health Care system ranks last in all developed nations worldwide safe to say its time for a national reform. Instead of trying to hammer out a national system straight off the bat because we have witnessed how this repeatedly fails each attempt, instead we produce a smaller model of best in class health care that if and when is proven effect can then go national.

    We take the worlds #1 health care system and replicate it in our VA so it becomes our test bed and proving grounds. Once it is a proven system within the VA then it can become our national standard. I mean where would we start reform other than from the health care system that is the worst of all within the nation that comes in last. What better way to start a success story?


    1. All well and good if one is expecting not to make ‘crap’ from an existing VAHS workforce that already has ALL the ingredients to make the most fine ‘crap’ in the world!
      What I am saying is, no matter what “System” or “Plan” is implemented or even tested, the larger problem is we would STILL have the very same LACKADAISICAL VA employees dishing the “New Crap’…it’s simply insanity in motion and not sustainable.





      lacking vitality and purpose


      lazy or idle, esp in a dreamy way

      Derived Forms

      lackadaisically, adverb
      lackadaisicalness, noun

      Hasn’t this word become OWNED by the VAHS?

    2. @Scott Bruno

      Scott, while I applaud your attempt to approach this with finding a solution, I feel the need to warn you that reason and thinking will not sway people who do not already think the way you do.

      The ranking of U.S. Health Care comes from an annual study of world health outcomes. The U.S. position as last in that is actually last of 11 countries looked at for the last few years. Those other countries are, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom,

      They all share one thing, single payer health care. As you might know, that idea is enough to send many people, including vets relying on the VA for free/cheap healthcare, to lose their minds. This has become abundantly clear since President Obama was able to get the Conservative Heritage Foundation plan (previously only enacted in Massachusetts by Governor Mitt Romney) put into place under the name of the Affordable Care Act, more derisively called by anti-Obama forces, ObamaCare.

      This is a legally enacted Medical Insurance law, and it is proving to be very effective program. So effective that the Elected Congressional Republicans, Tea Party, and anyone who does not like having a Black President have spent millions to overturn and deny the benefits of to everyday Americans. In fact House Republicans have taken nearly 60 party line votes to overturn the law, each time knowing that would not happen. They have vowed to from his first election to not only make him a one-term President (which they failed at) and to deny him any legislative victory, so much so they attempted (and been very successful at) blocking any piece of legislation that would enhance his legacy as President.

      My point to you is this, as much as I might agree with you, I hope that you don’t expect that to happen. The politicians won’t stand for it, and low information voters will be outraged with bumper sticker politics and rhetoric.

      1. Mike, I have to ask, were you ever in the military? Were you US or RA? What MOS or NEC were you? What ‘Rate’ or ‘Rank’ did you achieve? Did you ever leave CONUS? Did you have an APO or an FPO? Answer these, and I will see, as will most on here that you are of the mind set- That you believe in President Obama. That’s fine!
        As far as the ‘Stolen Valor Act’, go to It was, and is, (since 2014) only illegal now to state something on a ‘written document’ which claims something for something. I think you need to do some more research concerning this and other things which have come to light in the past year!!!!!
        AS far as lying goes – It is never ok to lie.

      1. Yeah, it’s likely THAT training made him very well-liked at “Prostate & Gumble”…or was that Proctor & Gamble? I MUST have just “misspoke”…silly me, you all KNEW what I MEANT to say, right?!
        I am now entirely convinced that the position of Secretary of the VA is really nothing but a high paying “token job” that makes it LOOK like a civilian runs a gov’t. department and has our ‘best interests at heart’…NOT!

        How about appointing a female to take a chance at this job? I feel the same way about the Presidential Position as well, by the way.
        However, I am more afraid that if Secretary McDonald does not ‘work out’, our President will slip-in his “cleaner”, Mr. Sloane…can see the writing on the wall already.
        There’s plenty of war decorated high ranking female retired Officers that could be vetted and it’s about time for a completely different perspective on things…and busting through yet another glass ceiling needing shattered.

  16. Like I stated before,. It’s loking more and more like Walt Disney. And he is looking
    and acting more like Pinoccio.
    Today I called the 800 of the va. After going thru the menu about 5 times.
    I was looking for something that would state press this number for claim
    Information. Any found anything like that but decided to press zero and just
    Wait. After holing on for about 5mins. I was told to either leave a message or
    go on line. Then they ended the call? Things are getting worse.

    1. Jim, this is off of this topic but was on another one of ben’s blog. Did you get the wonderful random white noise (static) and the random dead silence that made you question if your call might have been hung-up on. Another one of the VA’s tricks to get you to hang-up and they don’t have to bother with you.

      1. My Experience , recorded message, every time, call back after business hours to be able to leave message or make an appointment for a callback a from counselor. Been going on for a year now.Assigned only 10 minutes, Also, scope of knowledge of counselor and assistance provided seems to be shrinking. Always, will request an inquiry at the Regional Office and their results are always the same.
        It is definitely getting worse. Before, at least could speak to counselor who would have access to updated data on workup on claims. Now, its usually old info and E-Benefits is a farce. Even when medical reports submitted by private health care providers are verifiable do not show up as even being listed.
        Anybody know how to set up a March for peaceful protest purposes. As veterans, I KNOW Marching is one skill that we excel at.
        Forward, March, on to D.C. Was done after every World Wars, veterans always had to fight for what was just and due.

      2. Hey ojapan, I commend your initiative to attempt a peaceful protest, you might look at these guys to assist with their toolkit – and secondly, you might just use a free web system out there for, “Crowdsourcing” that will then enable people to begin to assemble online in preparation to protest and this also help you determine the amount of interest and support you would get. Key op word being, “crowdsourcing” hence looking to source a protest with a crowd of veterans.

        Good luck and keep me updated,


  17. The real question that we should be asking is; does the lie that McDonald told make him a liar, or is he a liar simply telling another lie? There is a marked difference. After all, what brought McDonald in was the lies told by VA employees – he was the guy that was supposed to set a new standard, one completely foreign to most VA employees, honesty and integrity. How then can we expect either the “guy who told the lie, or the liar (depending on your answer to my original question), to set a new gold standard for the Department of Veterans Affairs? As he has now thoroughly compromised himself, McDonald should take his cue from Brian Williams and suspend himself (without pay).

  18. See, here’s the thing…INTEGRITY IS SOMETHING YOU POSSESS AND SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BE *EARNED* AND THAT GOES HAND-IN-HAND WITH TRUST…I am rather sick of people’s minimizing people’s LIES! A ‘white lie’ is still a LIE. “Misspoke” is only but this generation’s whitewashing a LIE and trying to make it seem like only an exaggeration.
    Sorry…calling a spade a spade here. I guess in “Disney’s VA, McDonald indeed IS Pinocchio in that circus!
    Sad…and even more sad…our President accepted his back-pedaling excuse. I’d say the VAHS just bought a brand new set of high dollar underwear this past week for Sec. McDonald…or just some tall boots because it’s getting rather thick these days with all the free-flowing crap being flung at we Veterans and the VAHS.

    1. namnibor, I agree with you on this. Why do we think this is OK? We are lied to and maybe it is that we are lied to so often we have become used to it and we don’t seem to care about it. I think that those who do it in such a manner as this should be held accountable. Maybe if this started to happen, we would not be so desensitized. It couldn’t hurt.

  19. Ya he lied! He’s a politician; so that goes without saying! Politicians LIE; FISH SWIM, so the world turns! The comment about Special Forces is GRAY; during his GROOMING after West Point; he trained to be part of a Spec. OPS detachment, but never was deployed to due the “powers that be” wanting to preserve him for eventual FIGURE HEAD STATUS… That’s how that story went! I was a Navy Corpsman specifically trained as a Fleet Marine Force Field Combat Medic; My designation was 8404 and although I was NEVER deployed to a Marine detachment; My sea Bag was kept as Marine REGS… so am I able to say during my enlistment I was a marine Corpmans, even though I wasn’t deployed to a Marine detachment; all while still assigned to one (in time of NEED)? I think so….???

  20. It seems that McDonald Duck also misspoke when he said he was Special Forces (being reported by Reuters today). I questioned this 900 number the second he said it. In case anyone doesn’t know the definition of misspoke: I lied, but I was caught, if I knew I was going to be caught, I wouldn’t have said it. I believe my dad would have just called him a liar. So twice in about ten days, he misspoke – once under oath in response to a congressman’s inquiry. As the old song says: “And the beat goes on.”

  21. It is very clear that the VA cannot be fixed Secretary McDonald has lied about the number of firings and it appears no one gets fired out of the VA.. They just get reprimands at best privately ( not publicly) or allowed to retire, etc I have seen it first hand myself . Knowing employees of the VA personally. no one wil, ever report anything illegal as ” I have a family to support or its my job” When asked if it were me their friend or their sister, brother, etc they worn talk about such To me they are unethical people without morals but claim to be so called good Christians Their job and keeping quiet tab the VA means more to them then ever doping the right thing .
    Thus this goes on this secret cover up code through the highest ranks of the VA and protects the “good old boy” system of coverup, lies, receipt, etc It goes through the VA OIG office where I tried to report three times things and never got answers or refused to take my complaint against VAMC Philadelphia OIG has has an attitude of excluding rather then including …Just look at those 14,000 files for disability claims filed at the San Fransisco VA office… Not only OIG should be in jail but the VA people that covered it up should be in jail for destroying government files and for civil rights violations against veterans Yet nothing happened.

    For years it has not been fixed nor will be fixed I suggest most of the services of the VA medically be transferred to privatization with no strings at all where veterans are allowed unlimited medical care like having a full insurance card for everything covered That would be much better then what we have now and cost the government far less.

    Every time the government gets into medical care, human services, etc its a disaster and this has been going on for years Time for a drastic change Just give veterans a full insurance card an dental if needed to go anyplace for services Very simple I would take that any day compared to ever going to the VA !!

    Lee Horowitz M.Ed, CAGS
    US Navy – 100% Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
    Veterans Advocate/Disabled Veterans Advocate

    1. Lee,

      Medicare, Medicade, Social Security, Federal Education Loans, Pell Grants, and FEMA, are all hugely successful programs. Yes, there have been many instances where someone defrauded the government, but the remaining millions of people helped under each should not be lumped with the irresponsible, crooked, and malicious who abuse the systems.

      Every time some politician declares our government is “too big” and demands we “cut things”, the agencies and manpower needed to run provide oversight to prevent fraud are the first to go. It is no wonder the programs are abused; there are not enough people in place to investigate all the claims.

      This also applies to the VA. Prior to Shinseki and Obama, the VA was a shambles. My Mother, Father, and Step Father were all WWII vets, and injured in action. My mother went on to be in country during the Korean War. I am a a 70% disable veteran.

      I can tell you from personal experience, that prior to Shinseki vets were abused even more than anyone cares to remember.

      You list yourself as a 100% Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran. As a 100% disabled veteran, you are most likely eligible for SSI disability as well. Considering that the pay tables show that a 100% disabled vet with a spouse earns $3,068 a month, and if you do get SSDI the maximum monthly payment will be $2,663 without any of the possible enhancers. Depending on your state, personal situation, and other factors you could be receiving a total around $5,700 a month. Unless you have more than $34 K a year in taxable income both the SSDI and VA pensions would be tax-free.

      Many people would consider one or both of those payments a “disaster” for the rest of the taxpayers.

      As for giving vets a “full insurance card”, interesting idea until you consider the cost, wide open ability by vets and providers to defraud, and the reality that health care insurance companies have rationed costs for every segment of their client base, effectively creating the so-called death panels that Sarah Palin tried to claim President Obama was trying to create.

      The private sectors handling of insurance and claims has been no better than the VA’s in that they ration care in favor of profit.That would not change if all us Vets were suddenly dumped on the private insurance companies.

  22. It looks like Bob’s right hand man, Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson, might be guilty of some embellishment in his official VA biography. Last week, the VA OIG reported that Gibson rounded up the number that showed the USO’s fundraising increase under Gibson’s leadership. Gibson claimed “net fundraising grew 90 percent.” The VA OIG put the number at “approximately 87 percent,” but concluded that rounding up was acceptable. Really? Shouldn’t the number two at an organization plagued by managers who fudged their numbers be more accurate? A link to the IG’s report is here:

    As for Bob, his behavior at the recent HVAC hearing, on “Meet the Press,” and with the veteran in LA are all unacceptable. In an editorial published yesterday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal questioned whether McDonald was up to the task of fixing the VA:

    I think we can forget about much real change at the VA until McDonald and Gibson are replaced. They are not setting the right example.

  23. The story as reported from Reuters News Service.

    It seems as if the same thing is happening again. We will NEVER get what we should get and were promised. He is at least apologizing for his “misspoken” statement. That makes it alright? No, he is acting as if he really doesn’t care for the very ones he was sworn to help. I could see him doing so to defuse a bad situation; however, to do this to a fellow vet and add to that a homeless vet is almost as if he is making fun as the homeless vet. He is putting down a vet who is down on his luck and he should have stated the right thing and the vet would have felt a better connection to him. Instead he clearly stated that he is not above lying to a vet for no reason. I think that every vet knows his/ her service accomplishments and where they were served. This only helps him with his other buddies in DC and further alienates us vets from actually having a part in the care and any other part of the VA. I for one am tired of a person in a high level position doing something that hurts their credibility and the best way to “get out of it” is to say “I’m sorry” or “I misspoke” or something like that. We, as a nation have such a short memory now days that we don’t care about what has happened in the past and are too quick to forgive or forget.

  24. Ben, do you ever think you hear or read useless chatter? Seriously, they speak “to please.” Yes, like after the more damaged done? I think he and she both are FOS and need some M.O.M. OR, we assists them by sending bottles of PRUNE JUICE TO HELP WITH THE CONSTIPATION OF THE MOUTH B.S.!
    Oh call Hickey? Seriously? Hey, save your damn lying B.S., HICKEY AND YES I DO HAVE A GAYDAR ( not against gays, don’t go there with me) BUT IF YOU MAKE IT SOUND LIKE OH I JUST REALIZED IT? BULLSHIT! FIRST PARAGRAPH? KISS MY ASS SEE YA SOON! YOU MESSED UP AND BLEW IT! Whatever shall happen with you?

  25. Here on forth,
    Every and Any Statement, from McDonald ( term “Secretary” OMMITTED PURPOSEFULLY) is a blatant lie and will reek of Disinformation.

    Can he be tried for that False Valor ?
    Special Forces is sort of an award.

  26. The VA has been motivated by political pressure since the 70’s.. Most Vets don’t have a chance for proper diagnosis let alone adequate medical care. If it is mental care, there are way too many obstacles, because the Mental Dr’s are scared they may be chastised for truth. The Secretary started off lying. How can anyone think he has a backbone?

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