ICYMI: Sec. Bob McDonald discusses Veterans, American Sniper with Charlie Rose


On Monday, Feb. 9, VA Secretary Bob McDonald joined the Charlie Rose Show on PBS to discuss the attention brought to today’s Veterans by films such as American Sniper. Joining the panel discussion were the film’s screenwriter, Jason Hall, and two Marines: Team Rubicon co-founder Jake Wood and Jacob Schick, a Warrior Relations Specialist with the Brain Performance Institute’s Warrior Training Team.

McDonald was asked about the film American Sniper and said it gave the American public a look at what military Veterans have gone through.

“The obvious injuries and wounds are the ones seen by everyone, but it’s those inconspicuous wounds are the ones we often deal with in the VA. I thought it was great to be able to raise that to the American public,” McDonald said.

McDonald also pointed out the contributions being made by Veterans. “I don’t want the American public to take away that every Veteran is somehow damaged.  They aren’t. We’ve got great Veterans who are making substantial contributions to this country.”

Watch the Charlie Rose show below.  The discussion begins at the 10:07 mark.



Megan Moloney

— Megan served at VA from May 2013 to July 2018. She is the daughter, granddaughter and spouse of Army and Navy Veterans who served in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.


  1. Danny    

    I was in the Air Force, never flew an airplane, yet am called an ” airman”. Also spent some time with the Army, but not called a soldier. Any person who served this great country HONORABLY deserves to be treated with respect. Senator Ernst made the point the other day that she is, by law, considered a “combat” veteran, I believe in spite of the fact that she never actually saw combat.My point is that the training is sometimes what gives the vet the title; the “mos/ads/duty title”. A person doesn’t have to go to war to be a veteran.

  2. KM    

    I searched for this man’s military history which was sanitized. Thank you for calling him out on his lack of ranger experience with regard to serving in that capacity. And how did he receive a Meritorious Medal–usually reserved for those who go above and beyond the call of duty?

    1. Jc    

      His MSM was probably his ETS award. It is a noncombat ribben given to folks in a lower leadership role. Officers and Enlisted in higher/longer leadership roles get the Legion of Merit. I doubt that his MSM was unwarranted. He was the CEO of P&G and that takes a bit of doing. That said he was a Point grad…. there could the “Good Ol’ Boy” club factor to. Who knows… but if you want to dig it up, I’m pretty sure that stuff is public record.
      That aside, 60 + 100 doesn’t = 900 firings at the VA.. The reports say 14 firings for wait lists. Forced retirements DONT count. What they did should be considered a criminal act!!! No pensions… Recoup bonuses… JAIL time!!! The lies continue Bob. Resign, or apologize and fix the system!!!

  3. Jc    

    Robert (Bob) McDonald claimed he was an “Airborne Ranger”. He was ranger qualified and served in an airborne unit, but was NEVER in a Ranger Battalion. That is a false statement to validate himself with a panel of war Veterans. It may not be as bad as Brian Williams’s reliving an RPG attack on his chopper that never happened, but it is still a false statement. He also ripped into a Congressman proclaiming “I was the CEO of a large company… What have you done?”. That Congressman was a war Veteran with one tour in OIF-1, and one tour in OIF-2.
    Shame… Shame… Shame… Bob is a downright disgrace who has publicly disrespected Veterans…
    It seems he doesn’t care about the Veterans his office is mandated… BY LAW… to take care of. The best example is the Veterans Choice Card. They are trying to (quietly) get rid of the program, sighting “Veterans don’t use it, and would rather be treated at a VA hospital”. What’s really happening? If you make an appointment at a VA hospital that is 30 days away, Veterans can use their VCC to be seen at a civilian hospital. What they are secretly doing is leaving appointments open sooner, but only give those earlier appointments to Veterans who ask for VCC authorization. I have asked for authorization twice and an appointment “magically” opens within that 30 day window. Someone is purposefully trying to make the numbers look as if Veterans don’t want to use the VCC…. I speculate that they are trying to reallocate it’s money to pointless programs like the 2 billion dollar Veteran ID card debockle that was absolutely pointless. Or VA Hospital Officials are told to see Vets within 30 days, and do this to make their numbers look better. Every Veteran remembers the casualties from the secret wait lists…. It’s the same thing…. VA officials guarding their bonuses at the expense of Veterans receiving timely care.
    I DO NOT TRUST THAT THE VA HAS MY BACK OR IS EVEN REMOTELY COMPETENT ENOUGH TO HELP ME. I WANT to be seen at a CIVILIAN hospital. One… I’ll receive competent timely care and two…its closer to me (I live just within that 40 mile bubble).
    Hey BOB! I see no clarity… Only dishonesty. Resign or apologize for your actions and actually take care of Veterans.

    Jesse Collins OEF Veteran

    PS. Any Vet who has encountered the same dishonest practices… Please email me jessesdesk3@yahoo.com

  4. Danny    

    People, VETERANS need to realize that Secretary McDonald can’t just snap his fingers and make things happen. He is in charge of the VETERANS Administration, but, unfortunately, even he has to answer to the gov’t – politicians! Did you see him telling that pompous jerk off on the news today? Like Mr. McDonald said, he has been there for 6 months; how long have most of the other “know-it-all” been there! CHANGE can happen in an instant; GOOD CHANGE usually takes a while.

  5. Ryan Sweet    

    Listen to Vets Mr. McDonald. The VA is so beyond broken. I have solutions. Talk to me.

    1) Problem: Suicides due to $ issues, and homelessness – leading to drugs and alcohol abuse. Solution. Reform GI Bill to cover housing, repay student loans, and medical expenses and counseling programs. Veterans for a New GI Bill on Facebook. Using already earmarked funding to pay for housing and student loans (education) will resolve a lot of problems for veterans and it’s an earned benefit already earmarked for use.

    2) Problem: Inefficiency. Solution. Automation. Can you believe I cannot UPLOAD documents to EBenefits!?!?! You want me to mail or fax stuff, which is absurd and takes MONTHS to upload on your end. I have more, but there’s a start.

  6. eugene tannenbaum    

    my experiences with local VA, id more wwidespread, would cause a private company to have its board and stockholders making some harsh improvements.

    have abundent calls ubresponsive to Secy Mc, have over 60 days of non follow ups by local patient advocate and other depts.

    rest of comment would be unprintable

  7. Theodore Block    

    It is not the V.A. who gives the Veteran the “shoulder and the run around”, It’s some A- hole
    in the various locations. I go to the KCVA. They are mostly very good. Some people will not be very helpful, but for the most part they are good, but the veteran is still in second place.
    There are exceptions that could be made.

  8. Robert L Wall Sr    

    The wife and I viewed the movie and I thought it was made as close to the “real thing” as
    possible. Very good!
    Speaking of VA-Care, I received care in the Boston (MA) area for years and NEVER was subject to anything but PROFESSIONAL and friendly care at both the VA Clinic on Causeway Street and the VA Med Ctr at Jamaica Plains.
    Moving back to my home state was a smooth transition.
    The Durham (NC) VA Medical Ctr and the two Raleigh (NC) clinics made this transition totally smooth.
    NEVER had an unkind word from any VA doctor, nurse, clinic person, pharmacy or any other VA employee I had the opportunity to meet.

  9. bob d.    

    the Veterans Admin(affairs) as instituted during y1930 and has been wrongly administered by all sectaries since then and probably forever because they are
    civilians who know nothing of combat and etc

    if this newbie mcdonald who has some skills good in civilian corps for profit these
    skills are useless for admin the VA thus soon this politician will go back to civilian corps

    bu what has to be done is that as conjured by the y1930 and forever after congress
    is that their efforts and laws are solely for combat veterans which means combat grunts and specially combat grunts with purple hearts etc

    thus olde macdonald ought quick as a bunny split VA into three gangs,
    1) only combat grunts remain, but top stuff all to combat grunts purple hearts
    2) another gang would be all non-combatants who are anyway quasi civilians who
    never left usa
    3) a few officers are combatants, only a few and they are known by their purple hearts

    thus with this done, even good olde macdonald a once upon a time a captain in usa
    knows above split is solution #1, then #2 from beginning all VA employees at the top
    shall be combat grunts, without exception, then those non combatant grunts remaining shall be replaced with combat grunts except officers, via a worldwide purge finding
    combat grunts who are available , then keeping this method open as more combat grunts appear alive then they too replace the civilians who are in the way of a coherent
    VA Administration in favor of combat grunts who congress recognize but who the VA secty always shoves aside and favors non combat whatevers
    here one should know why a veteran commits suicide every hour 24/7 is because the today VA keeps nut docs and related dummies at top of methods of treatment thus all treatments today by VA worldwide are useless because devised by idiots who went to college or became family docs but who have had no combat grunt experience thus do not have a clue how to treat any vet of his psych brain etc trauma and thus cheat
    vets out of comp as is the ongoing theme of a admin made up of cowards who hate
    combat grunts for being combat grunts thus doing the heavy lifting,,, i quit for now because i just got a flag from VA that my facts are correct but hamper the thefts by
    civilians of jobs earned by combat grunts and not by civilian cowards, so bye bye for now

  10. Don    

    I know of two dishonorably discharged persons, both are got service connected disability from the Detroit Dept. of Veterans Affairs with in 30 days of applying….. One was discharged for drug use the other for too many blanket parties lost his teeth to a baseball bat!!!!!! And honorably discharged people only get the run around from the Detroit Dept. of Veteran affairs … Seems that the people who decides who gets service connected disability dislike veterans that served their country honorably!!!

    So it is the policy of the VA to serve dishonorably discharged persons better and faster than an honorably discharged people! Do you feel that a dishonorably discharged person should come before an honorably discharged people when it comes to getting service from the VAs!!!

    This Detroit office is the same office that lost my brother-in-laws Robert Ferns file.. He served in Vietnam.. Ammo dump guard he was spared with AO daily,,,, He died in 1989 at the age of 38!!! VA still claims that AO had nothing to do with his early death!!!
    The VA just give us Veterans the run around until we give up or just die!!!!

    1. Danny    

      Don, I’ve seen this story before & it “ticks” me off too; even though I don’t know all the details. I am truly sorry for your loss. The loss of every veteran is the loss of a brother or sister to us all.It bothers me when they go thru all the crap “over there” & make it home, only to die so young, or be killed by some stupid random act of violence – much less by another veteran.

  11. Don    

    And the republicans keep under funding the VA, Except for the bonus that they give the Dept of Veterans Affair personal for giving a veteran the run around until they give up of dies!!!!

    1. Danny    

      Secretary McDonald has done away with bonuses, albeit temporarily for now, but the first step has been taken. I will not comment on the political aspect, as I don’t trust but a couple of politicians, & they were veterans before they became politicians. This is, after all, a veteran’s website. No disrespect intended.

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