Bush says working with vets helps him cope
February 23rd, 2014
12:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Bush says working with vets helps him cope

(CNN) – Asked whether President George W. Bush's work with veterans helps him cope with what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq - two wars that started during his presidency - the former President said there's "no question it helps."

"I have a duty," he continued in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "The Week." "Obviously, I get slightly emotional talking about our vets, because I have an emotional - I'm in there with them.

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"My spirit is always uplifted when I visit with vets," he added. "There's no self-pity. We've got a society that's incredibly comfortable and too many people saying, 'Oh, man, woe is me.' Not our veteran community. They don't say 'woe is me.' They say 'What can I do to continue to serve?' "

Bush keeps a low profile but occasionally emerges in the spotlight, mostly to highlight veterans, whether that's through a public event or simply playing golf or going mountain biking with wounded veterans.

More than 50,000 U.S. and coalition forces have been wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq, and 8,211 have died.

Bush headlined an event last week drawing attention to a need to bridge what he called the "civilian-military divide."

It's "troubling" that 84% of veterans say the public isn't aware of the challenges they face and that 71% of Americans agree, Bush said, citing a survey by the Bush Institute and Syracuse University to be released this year.

Speaking at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas with second lady Jill Biden, Bush called on higher education institutions and employers to do more when it comes to educating and hiring veterans.

CNN's Leigh Ann Caldwell contributed to this report.

Filed under: George W. Bush • Veterans
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Has W mentioned anything about the war in Iraq being unnecessary? Such a price our soldiers had to pay for his lie.

    February 23, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. jim

    Hope it helps relieve his guilt...

    February 23, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. rs

    Good for him- maybe he gets to assess his role in how the veterans got the way they are- then perhaps he needs to become their advocate. Certainly the GOP isn't.

    February 23, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    He doesn't deserve to "feel better." His crimes are so vast, he should have been in jail long ago. His actions have led to millions suffering/dying and he lied us into a Horrific war. He is a war criminal.

    February 23, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Suzanne

    Bush needs to be tried as a war criminal. He has cost so many, unnecessarily, their lives and peace of mind. As for his guilt, he is obviously feeling it seep out through his tough, rotten hide. He should be in prison. Maybe then we could all begin to feel there is some justice in the world.

    February 23, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. Pat

    Why don't you liberal morons ask the Military how they feel about Bush? They certainly prefer him over Obama

    February 23, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. IfoundtheWMD

    Does he just now realize the mistake it was to go to war with Iraq? Where's the WMDs? At the time there were demonstrations all over the world NOT to go to war. The coalition was a farce.

    Oh yeah, by the way Georgie... guess what? There are vets (and many, many more innocent citizens) in Iraq too!

    February 23, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Name Uche Agonsi

    This might be his damned feelings. But how does he expect these vets to feel about him.

    February 23, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    Do I care this guy? Neh!

    February 23, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. don in albuquerque

    Nice way to salve your guilt when you are the one responsible for putting them where they are today. Especially when you did it for no good reason on earth except "Well, he tried to kill my daddy."

    February 23, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Thomas

    How much did two ten year wars cost America ?

    I'm sure GW is making the rounds with "Dick" Cheney , Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz .

    More than 50,000 U.S. and coalition forces have been wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq, and 8,211 have died.

    What ever happened to Ahmed Chalabi ?

    February 23, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    I wonder how many of them secretly want to throw shoes at you. They're better men than you George!

    February 23, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. Bill from GA

    W wants to help Vets get educated and hired. Maybe W could tell the Republicans in Congress to work with our President to create more jobs for ALL Americans. I think the Vets would appreciate that more than a plan to hire a Vet instead of someone else. Jobs for ALL.

    Particularly, support Obama's plan for an Infrastructure Jobs Bill, to spend money rebuilding OUR country.
    How bout it, W??

    February 23, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. Chris-E...al

    YES Bush had to make really tough choices to save us from more hijack planes an islamic terrorist ! That attack in itsself stalled the Economy . Its sad that Bill Clinton did n0t take Bin Laden when Yemen had him jailed they had him! they had him ! But Bill was doing ??? And yes thts about the the time BIlL was GIvEing china sensitive Missile tech and n0w they are months away fr completeing one that can hit a ship 1200 miles away! Bill has regrets to ?

    February 23, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    George, you and your puppet master, Cheney put these kids in harms way with your lies. If you want to really help, get the REPUBLICANS in political office to stop cutting veteran's benefits and provide more mental health programs and funding.

    February 23, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. Getoverit

    "Obama sucks = Attack Bush."

    – Pathetic Liberals

    February 23, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |