Bush promotes new veterans initiative

Former President GeorgeW. Bush speaks during a summit titled "Empowering Our Nation's Warriors," held at the GeorgeW. Bush Institute. (LM Otero/AP). Former president GeorgeW. Bush speaks during a summit titled "Empowering Our Nation's Warriors," held at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas. (LM Otero/AP).p[rom

Former president George W. Bush is promoting a new veterans initiative aimed at studying how to reintegrate post-9/11 veterans into the civilian world.

"Too many vets are unemployed, and there's what we call a civilian-military divide; in other words, the returning vets think one thing, the civilian population thinks another," Bush said during an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "Our aim is to get people to understand each other better for the good of the vet community."

The study will take place through the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas and Syracuse University.

Bush described veterans as "one of the great resources we have in our nation." He said the initiative will help him cope with what happened under his watch during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I have a duty," he said. "I obviously get slightly emotional talking about it, but that's because I have an emotional -- I'm in there with them."

"We've got a society that's incredibly comfortable and too many people saying, 'Oh man, woe is me,'" Bush continued. "Not our veteran community. They don't say 'woe is me.' They say: 'What can I do to continue to serve?'"

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.
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Josh Hicks · February 23, 2014