V.A. secretary apologizes for claiming he served in Special Forces

VA Secretary Robert McDonald got caught in an exaggeration
(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald apologized on Monday for claiming that he had served in the U.S. Special Forces. His assertion, in conversation with a homeless veteran and captured on camera by CBS News, "was inaccurate, and I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement," he said. McDonald did serve in the 82nd Airborne Division for five years in the 1970s, but the 82nd Airborne isn't one of the military units that send elite troops to the Special Forces.

"I have no excuse," McDonald told The Huffington Post, which first reported that story. "I was not in Special Forces." McDonald completed training as an Army Ranger — which does feed the Special Forces — but never served as a Ranger. The White House said that it accepted McDonald's explanation and expected "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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