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.”
“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.”
The 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.