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VA Secretary Launches Effort To Reconnect Veterans To The Community

Jeff Whittington/KERA
VA Secretary Robert McDonald

United States Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald was in Dallas Monday to launch the Veterans Economic Communities Initiative, a nationwide effort aimed at increasing education, employment and other re-entry opportunities for veterans.

Interview Highlights: VA Secretary Robert McDonald...

...On connecting veterans to their communities:

"The biggest issue for any veteran is to get reconnected with the community. And what we need to do is embrace those veterans from the day they get out of the service and land them in a community with all of the connections and networks that they would have developed had they lived in the community."

...On the biggest challenge the VA faces:

"The majority of our buildings were built over 50 years ago, so our operating rooms are too small. And we need to have more sites so the veterans can get the care in those sites. That’s why I’ve spoken out against the budget that was passed in the House which cut our construction budget by fifty percent for 2016."

This interview is part of KERA's ongoing coverage of veterans and veteran issues. Learn more about the national Veterans Coming Home public media effort.