Sec. Bob McDonald at American Legion

Sec. McDonald speaks with reporters following remarks at the 98th American Legion National Convention

Joining thousands of members of the American Legion at their 98th annual national convention in Cincinnati, VA Secretary Bob McDonald shared how he sees serving as an “opportunity to make a difference in the lives of my fellow Veterans.”  McDonald addressed the Legion annual gathering Wednesday.

“Over two years ago now, I had my confirmation hearing,” McDonald shared with the audience.  He was asked why he wanted to be the secretary of Veterans Affairs.  “I told them: There’s no higher calling.  There’s no more noble mission.”

At that hearing, McDonald described how he pledged to “work to transform the VA – improving access to the high -quality care and benefits that Veterans earned and deserve.”

That transformation is what McDonald calls MyVA.

“MyVA reflects your ideals, your insights and your innovations,” McDonald said. “You’ve heard many times that VA is broken. I disagree. We have challenges, yes. But VA can be transformed.”

Sec. Bob McDonald at the American Legion conventionThe role of Veterans service organizations, such as the American Legion, is critical to the success of VA’s transformation effort. “Ninety-five years ago, VSOs helped bring the Veterans Bureau into existence.  Nine years later you helped create the Veterans Administration,” McDonald said. “You’re why President Reagan made VA a department, giving us a ‘seat at the table of our national affairs.’ And you’re the ones who can keep Veterans in control of how, when and where they wish to be served. That’s what MyVA is about.”



Watch the secretary’s full remarks below.

Share this story

Published on Aug. 31, 2016

Estimated reading time is 1.4 min.

Views to date: 66


  1. Jeff Duncan September 6, 2016 at 2:25 am

    Why aren’t they supporting passage of H.R.1292 in congress which helps disabled vets. If they wanted it passed it would pass but so far nothing. If we can’t help disabled vets that cost the taxpayer nothing during war then when can we? Nobody cares about vets yet that is what McDonald is supposed to do as his job.

  2. Jeffery John Meaux September 2, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I have not been able to get an answer to my question that I have been asking for a few years Why is it that some medication is less expensive at Walmart and other pharmacies than through the Veterans Administration.

  3. Cheryl Thompson September 2, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    My husband was a Vietnam Veteran. I was married to him for nearly 40 years, until his death last year. He died from liver cancer. His cancer was caused by hepatitis C and cirrhosis. He drank everyday. He was also addicted to marijuana when he was in Vietnam, had never touched the stuff before then. I feared that if I divorced him he would commit suicide. He suffered from PTSD everyday, and got very little help until it was too late. I am so sorry for your loss.

  4. Howard Berrry August 31, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Bob forgot to mention the almost 17,000 veteran suicides since he took over. What happened to the accountability and transparency he promised? My son took his life in 2013. He was treated at the Cincinnati VA. I have been lied to, misdirected or ignored by far too many VA leaders, including Bob McDonald. Call Bob (redacted). Leave him a message. Tell him letting veterans die due to indifference and neglect needs to stop NOW! I miss my son. I also miss the values that used to mean something in America. God Bless our vets.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • In the aftermath of Hurricanes Fiona and Ian, VA has benefits and resources for Veterans and families impacted by this natural disaster.

  • In 2022, VA set a goal to house 38,000 homeless Veterans. With only a few months to go, how are we doing?

  • Under the PACT Act, Vietnam era, Gulf War era, and Post-9/11 Veterans have extended eligibility for VA health care.