Military
8:26 am
Wed February 19, 2014

VIDEO: In Dallas, President Bush, Jill Biden Discuss Supporting Veterans, Families

Former President George W. Bush said Wednesday that his institute will be "relentless" in helping military veterans return to civilian life.

The KERA radio story.

He appeared at a summit at the George W. Bush Institute at the Bush Center. Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, also spoke at the event, which focused on ways to help military veterans and their families.

“Over the next five years, more than a million Americans will complete their military experience,” Bush said at the event, called Empowering Our Nations' Warriors. “And like those before them, they’ll face challenges as they readjust to civilian life. At the Bush Center, we believe after everything they’ve done for us we have a duty to help make their transition as successful as possible.”

The institute, which is the center’s policy arm, brought together leaders from private, public and non-profit sectors to examine how Americans can better support veterans and their families. It's on the campus of Southern Methodist University.

In the past, Bush has honored veterans through sporting events, including an annual 36-hole golf tournament in the fall and a three-day, 100-kilometer bike ride in the spring. But Bush says those efforts aren’t enough.

“They’re not transformative enough,” he said. “And so a goal is to help Americans understand how they can support our veterans and empower them to succeed.”

Bush said one issue to address is a stigma associated with post-traumatic stress, which he said has been mislabeled as a disorder. He says it's treatable.

Justin Constantine is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps. After serving in Iraq he started his own business. And like many returning from war, he still has issues with post-traumatic stress as well physical injuries that make it difficult to talk.
Credit Lauren Silverman / KERA News

More than 40,000 groups have a mission of helping veterans. That’s great, Bush says, but it can be overwhelming. That’s why the Bush Institute plans to measure which programs are most effective, and release case studies highlighting work in both the private and non-profit sectors that help veterans make a smooth transition to civilian life.

Jill Biden is the co-founder of Joining Forces, an effort to help military families. (Scroll down to watch videos of remarks by Bush and Biden.)

KERA's Lauren Silverman covered the event. Follow her coverage on Twitter. Here are some Twitter highlights of the event:

Here are remarks by President George W. Bush:

Here are remarks by Jill Biden:

Learn more about the event here:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.