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

Joseph August
President George W. Bush will discuss how to support military veterans and their families today at the Bush Institute.

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

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.

Credit Lauren Silverman / KERA News
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.

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.

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Lauren Silverman was the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She was also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine  Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.