Former President George W. Bush announced a sweeping initiative to study post-9/11 generation veterans on Thursday at his institute's "Empowering Our Nation's Warriors" summit. (Photo courtesy George W. Bush Institute)

Bush plans to breach ‘civilian-military’ divide

Former President George W. Bush misses a few things about being president. Jokingly, he says he misses the reliability of Air Force One to make sure his luggage arrives on time.

Above all, he misses saluting the men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Speaking in Dallas, Bush said he will again take up that cause through his institute for long into the future.

American Legion staff members participated in the Feb. 19 “Empowering Our Nation’s Warriors” summit at the George W. Bush Institute, where the 43rd U.S. president pledged his full support for the nation’s veterans and their families, putting the full strength of his institute behind that promise.

“Many (servicemembers) are coming home and are preparing for new missions as civilians, and I intend to salute these men and women for the rest of my life,” Bush said. “And through the Military Service Initiative, the Bush Institute is going to help. We’re focused, and we’ll be relentless in serving our vets.

“And so a goal of the Military Service Initiative is to help Americans understand how they can support our veterans and empower them to succeed. Support for our troops since 9/11 has been overwhelming, but until now, we haven’t really asked."

To answer those questions, the former president said that researchers at his institute, working with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families, are conducting a study in which veterans and military service organizations are helping their target audiences. The goal of the study is to establish best practices among the more than 46,000 service groups currently active within the United States.

“That’s a huge number, and it’s a great testament to our country’s strong support for veterans, but it can be overwhelming for newly returned veterans looking for help,” Bush said. “And while these organizations have good intentions, I suspect some deliver better results than others.”

Results of the study are expected to be released this fall, while results of the institute’s study on the post-9/11 veteran population are expected to be released this spring. The latter study tracks demographic and employment information, as well as the population’s feelings on the country’s military-civilian divide.

Bush provided a glimpse into the second study. “Eighty-four percent of the veterans say that the American public has ‘little awareness’ of the challenges facing them and their families,” he said. “It turns out most Americans agree: 71 percent of Americans said they do not understand the problems facing our veterans. You might call this a ‘civilian-military divide.’” 

Another goal of the study, Bush said, is to help more veterans put their skills to work in the civilian sector. “From our research, we know one problem is that veterans and employers both have a hard time translating military experience,” Bush said. “Our study will help employers understand what veterans have to offer and enable them to tailor their recruitment and hiring efforts. And we’re going to send a broader message: Hiring veterans is not only the right thing to do – it is a smart thing to do. When a résumé says ‘United States military,’ that means you can count on the applicant to be loyal, have good leadership, teamwork skills and discipline. And to an employer, that should mean a lot.”

Bush also cast his vote for removing the term ‘disorder’ from post-traumatic stress disorder. “The real problem with post-traumatic stress is not the condition itself,” he said. “The problem is the stigma surrounding the condition – partly because it is mislabeled as a ‘disorder,’ and partly because many people aren’t aware of treatment options. As most doctors today will tell you: Post-traumatic stress is not a disorder. Post-traumatic stress, or PTS, is an injury that can result from the experience of war. And like other injuries, PTS is treatable.”

Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, who worked with First Lady Michelle Obama to create the Joining Forces initiative, praised those who stand behind their loved ones as they serve their country.

“I am always inspired by the strength and the resilience of our military families,” Biden said. “Our military families have done so much for our country, and each of us can do something in return. That’s why nearly three years ago, First Lady Obama and I created Joining Forces, to encourage all Americans to support and honor our military families. Since that time, America has stepped up in our workplaces, our schools and our communities.”

Biden said civilian employers have realized what hiring a veteran does for its workforce. “Companies big and small are stepping up not just because it’s the patriotic thing to do, but because it’s the smart thing to do. They know that our (servicemembers) are some of the highest-skilled, hardest-working employees they will ever have.”

Retired U.S. Marines Corps Gen. Peter Pace – who was the first Marine to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – took the stage with Blackstone chairman and CEO Steve Schwarzman. Blackstone has pledged to hire 50,000 veterans and has mobilized its portfolio companies to hire more than 10,000 veterans.

Schwarzman said that hiring veterans is “the moral thing to do,” adding that every U.S. company of significant size can be doing what Blackstone is doing.

Pace called post-9/11 veterans the “leaders of the future... the men and women who our grandchildren and great-grandchildren are going to look to for leadership.”

The summit also included two panels focusing on obstacles faced by veterans and military families, and private and non-profit sector responsibilities and opportunities.

In the first panel, attendees heard from some notable names: retired Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli, now the CEO of One Mind Research; Fisher House chairman/CEO Kenneth Fisher; Student Veterans of America Executive Director D. Wayne Robinson; and John Thiel, the head of Merrill Lynch.

Chiarelli called for more federal funding for brain trauma research, saying that if a private-sector CEO threw the same small amount of money at a multi-million dollar problem, the CEO wouldn’t keep his job very long.

Fisher asked for potential employers to reach out to wounded veterans while they are in the recovery process to start the mentoring process that much earlier. Robinson urged employers to be selfish and ask what the return on investment from hiring veterans is.

Thiel didn’t mince words when talking about his company’s aggressive efforts to hire veterans. “We’re doing this because this is a business opportunity for us, as well as doing the right thing,” he said. “Merrill Lynch has had a 45-year history of hiring veterans very successfully. They transition very well into our roles as advisors to clients with the maturity, the perspective and the leadership they have.”

In the second panel, Jacksonville, Fla., Mayor Alvin Brown said that veterans deserve to come home, get a job and take care of their families and explained mechanisms his city has in place to help with that, including working with companies and businesses in the city on veterans hiring programs. “My goal us to make Jacksonville the most military, veteran city in America,” Brown said.

Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation, said there is a need to “cross the chasm to enable all Americans to find ways to support our veterans." Team Rubicon CEO Jake Wood called veteran integration into the civilian world, the rate of veterans suicide and traumatic brain injuries a “national emergency.” Texas Tech University Chancellor Kent Hance – whose university has increased its student veterans staff personnel from one person to 12 since he arrived – pledged that veterans who set foot on campus with a skill learned during their military service, such as serving as medic, aren’t forced to relearn those skills in the classroom.

And Joe DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven Inc., said one of the main solutions to helping veterans transition is a rather simple one. If we provide jobs (to veterans), the other stuff – it’s going to take a lot of work – it will work itself out,” he said. “I truly believe that.”

Legion Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Division Director Verna Jones was one of four Legion staffers at the summit. “I think it was important The American Legion was represented here today because we’re talking about all the issues we work with on a daily basis: employment, education and training, benefits,” she said. “We’re talking about medical care and even their position on post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s important that we get the views of other organizations in the same kind of business that we’re in, and be able to move forward with that information and with what we know from our own results.”

To view video from the summit, click here.


  1. Really interesting, a bunch of frustrated veterans sitting around with nothing to do but complain and take cheap shots at each other on a computer. You should be banning together to make up the largest and most powerful voting block in this country. Complain to those who are ruining this great country in Washington DC. Go to the polls, vote for anyone but an incumbant, clean house. Or, you can vote for the same clowns hoping that change will come, go home and meet with your friends in your basement and bitch about what was done to you and nothing changing in Washington. These post have the appearance of a ventriloquist trying to throw the democratic voice so it reflects on the republicans. The first thing that should be attacked is the current laws that prevent "independant party members" from getting on state primary election ballotts. Oh well, it's not going to happen. The same bellyachers will still be complaining in this same page next month and the months to come.
  2. All of you are full of it. You only get what you work for. If you were brought up where you worked at an early age 7-8 years. You would have learned how to survive and realized if you did not work and were given everything then you would think the government owes you something. Even today you have to keep working and fighting for it. Or you can take a hand out from Obama are get with your political leaders and fight to get your implied benefits.
  3. How about picking cotton ? Picking beans, peas, greens and digging taters ? How old are you and we can decide how full you are of it.
  4. O.K. time is up. Everybody has complained and cried enough. I will bet that there isn't one among us who hasn't made a mistake. Everybody shines their own star. Everybody thinks that they and only they are right and I doubt that anybody is totally right. The only thing that I can say now is that we are mostly negative and complainers. We are actually very fortunate to live in a country where we are cared for as much as we are. Average person on the street don't know or care about where we went or what we did just as long as they were not bothered by it. We have to unite. United we stand, divided we fall. Simple as that. Things change. Everything changes. I am sending an email. Wasn't too long ago I didn't know what an email was. America changes with the times too. Nothing remains the same. Change is the one thing that you can be sure of. So look up fellas and don't talk gloom and doom or you might end up being responsible for bringing it on. May God Bless all of you and God Bless The USA.
  5. GWB didn't make a mistake, he made a catastrophe, he and Dick Cheney should stand trial in an international court of law for screwing up the world. The worldly sad state of affairs today and yesterday were created by these two idiots, how anybody could possibly say forgive, is also idiots.
  6. Permalink is spot on. GWB and Cheney ruined tens of thousands of service member's lives with their fabricated war in Iraq, not to mention the 100,000+ innocent civilians we murdered. All the Iraq war accomplished was making most of the country a satellite state of Iran (once again: way to go America!).
  7. Obama should also be tried for treason for the Obama care fiasco & the ever bloating national debt! (you must be a democrat) I'm Independent! By the way I think you're an idiot.
  8. Permalink, you can tell you are one of the radical right , they have nothing to justify continued support of W the war criminal so they just call people who have opened their eyes to the true horror of America Bushwhacked idiots. I feel sorry for you but history will record Obama one of the best Presidents and W the worse. That is how it is, and time will confirm it.
  9. Permalink I would like to remind you that Bush did not pick up his pin and phone and order the Iraq war, both houses of Congress approved it. While I did not agree with the war, lets get the facts straight. Also no President since Kennedy, with the exception of Regan can come anywhere to being one of the best. The worst so far has been Jimmy Carter, however he may be replaced.
  10. This is none of the most disingenuous statements that I have run across it a long time. GWB and Chaney are two very honorable men who acted toward the benefit of America. Worldwide intelligence led them to make their decisions. Although not accurate (up to now), actions were taken for the benefit of the world and the USA--no malice was intended for this country. GWB is one of the best people to occupy the White House in many years--if we had more leaders like him, we and the world would be a much better place.
  11. RE: Worldwide intelligence led them to make their decisions That statement is utterly and completely incorrect. RE: if we had more leaders like him, we and the world would be a much better place. You mean in heaven because there is no world left? RE: GWB is one of the best people to occupy the White House in many years- Are you a Liberal Democrat, Neocon or RINO? They are the only ones who appreciated his gift of the Presidency, House and Senate to the Democrats due to his ineptitude and government waste. He really tic'd off the Dems. If someone is going to expand government and give away hundreds of billions of dollars, by golly that is their turf. Ain't no Republican going to muscle in on their territory.
  12. I think your way out of line, they were two of the best people we've had in the white house for many of years.We have been trying to control the free world for many of years,to blame those 2 is silly, they did what was corectfor the times.It was based on poor worldwide intellgence.
  13. I see a lot of comments here most are complaining about the past/present leaders of our government, and about benefits. How many of you get to the polls and vote? that is the way we are supposed to right what is wrong with the govt. AND GET OUT AND SUPPORT THE PEOPLE YOU THINK CAN DO THAT, WRITE OR E-MAIL YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVES ALSO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND SENATORS . When each of us can do this and instill it in our in our upcoming generation, Maybe "WE THE PEOPLE" WILL MEAN SOMETHING.
  14. Wow, what a bunch of complainers! As was said get out and vote, and/or contact your reps in Congress/Senate. I to use the VA facility here, and they have done fine by me. I have a copay, but accept that without any problems. I have been helped more than I can explain in this thread. After 40+ years, I have problems, and without the VA, those problems would still be here. Think about it, the current or past Presidents are not really running this great country. Congress runs it, and we all should know that. So stop whining about the wanna be world problem solvers, and lets make changes to the real problems. Congress and the Senate. If you have problems with the VA, then there are usually one of two reasons for that. One, is that you had problems before the military, but now you expect everything to be done for you. Or, get off your ass, stop complaining, VOTE, and make sure you conntect with your local VA Service Advisor. If you don't get results, reply back and I will see if I can help. Education- University of South East Asia, 1966-1967, and Damn proud of it. Phu Bai - Hue 101
  15. We can all set around and place blame on someone. Facts are facts. The worthless JFK committed the US military to a war that we should have never been in. In his own words, he stated "we will stop communism before it spreads". Seem to me Eisenhower said the same thing about the "Police Action" in Korea. The US didn't stop the spread of communism in either Vietnam or Korea. I am honored that all my brothers and three brothers-in-law all served in the military and I am also honored that I served during Vietnam.. I am also honored and I think all citizens of then US are blessed with the sacrifices all military vets have made for the sake of Freedom. But everyone must take a long hard look at the current occupant in the White House and his personal agenda. Obama and Clinton could care less about any American Citizen, and as far as the Military goes, they think we are the stepping stones to when then US will be ruled by a dictator. People, pull your heads out of the sand and take notice where our great country is headed.
  16. A Big AMEN! I also served in Vietnam and am proud of this great country and my service to it. It's really too bad that our politicians are not proud and seems to be tearing this country apart and taking away our constitutional rights.
  17. if i felt as bad about America as all the commits i have read above i just ask them why don t you all go to another country you are not very good citizens here if you all are that much unamerican. Me I was vietnam and I am proud to have served this great land but it wasn t for the stupid idiots tha put that garabage above GOD BLESS AMERICA AND ALL IT STANDS FOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  18. Leaders are not made to be trusted, we need to pray for all of them. "Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club 1967"
  19. My, my, aren't we all testy. If you're going to contribute to a discussion, you should, at least, be civil about it. And there is a whole lot of uncivility (Yeah, I know, that's not really a word, but it fits) in this thread.
  20. George Bush is the worst president ever. I was active duty when President Bill Clinton was in office. We received raises and cost of living adjustments every year. I separated in 1997 and joined the reserves. I used the GI Bill and Pell Grants to pay for my Bachelors in Nursing Degree. When I was Active Duty Civilian spouses were able to use Pell Grants for school while their active duty spouse served. I do not recall active duty members using food stamps and receiving welfare. During the Bush years I was a reservist, active duty was using food stamps left and right at Barksdale AFB. My first cousin joined the Army he was an E-2 with a wife and child. I suggested his wife apply for a Pell Grant since she was not working in order to attend school 2004. She was denied because her husband made too much money. He served several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His family used food stamps. His wife had to take out student loans in order to pay for her degree in elementary education. Military members and their families sacrifice so much. Shameful that some have to rely on food stamps to survive.
  21. In my opinion, George Bush had a genuine love for our country. Unlike the present socialists that are taking over the country, bypassing the Constitution and doing everything they can destroy their opposition, taking our freedom away from us and bankrupting the whole country. If Bill Clinton would have done his job when they tried to knock the towers down in 1994, we would not have had to go to war.
  22. B.J. Bill balanced the budget by cutting the active military to the bone. Two of the Divisions and numerous smaller units that I had the honor of serving in were axed. The 7th Division was pulled out of the ice chest of Korea and stood down while money was piled on the state of New York to train a cold weather Division. The result of this action is that now National Guards and Reserves are required to spend long and repeated tours in the sand. The mission of the National Guard has become World Guard. Bill was a heck of a guy, hiding in Canada while 90,000 Americans died in service to their country.
  23. Yes and with Clinton we also go NAFTA which sent all of the high paying manufacturing jobs over to China where we now get all sorts of JUNK! and look how many people are unemployed because of him. Opps, I guess you didn't think about that. Many of the people that lost jobs because of Clinton and NAFTA were and still are VETERANS! Pull Your head out Quick
  24. President Clinton didn't give us NAFTA, Congress did. They overwhelmingly approved it. Plus, Bill is the only occupant of the oval office who got a blow job in it!
  25. Try to look at it without your political glasses on. Clinton is the only president (to his credit - along with Republicans who controlled the both the House and Senate for 6 of his 8 years)who presided over a substantial drop in food stamp participation: FOOD STAMP PROGRAM (SNAP) REAGAN 1985-88 BUSH-1 1989-92 1985-1990 Recognition of the severe domestic hunger problem in the latter half of the 1980s led to incremental expansions of the FSP in 1985 and 1987, such as elimination of sales tax on food stamp purchases, reinstitution of categorical eligibility, increased resource limit for most households ($2,000), eligibility for the homeless, and expanded nutrition education. The Hunger Prevention Act of 1988 and the Mickey Leland Memorial Domestic Hunger Relief Act in 1990 foretold the improvements that would be coming in the 90’s. CLINTON 1993-2000 1993 MICKEY LELAND CHILDHOOD HUNGER RELIEF ACT provided for $2.8 billion in benefit increases over Fiscal Years 1984-1988. Leon Panetta, in his new role as OMB Director, played a major role as did Senator Leahy (NOT CLINTON). 1996 WELFARE REFORM AND SUBSEQUENT AMENDMENTS: Eliminating eligibility to food stamps of most legal immigrants who had been in the country less than five years; Time limit of three out of 36 months for Able-bodied Adults Without Dependents not participating in a work program; Reduced maximum allotments from 103% to 100% in the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) Freezing the standard deduction, the vehicle limit, and the minimum benefit; Setting the shelter cap at graduated specified levels up to $300 & allowed states to mandate a standard utility allowance; Revised disqualification provisions/ As a result of all these changes, "PARTICIPATION RATES PLUMMETED" IN THE LATE 1990s, according to Slate online magazine. 1997 BALANCED BUDGET ACT and the 1998 AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, EDUCATION AND EXTENSION ACT made some minor changes, the net effect of which increased food stamp participation slightly. BUSH-2; 2001-08 2001 Agriculture Appropriations Bill: 1-Increased the excess shelter cap to $340 in fiscal year 2001; 2-Indexed the cap to changes in the CPI beginning in FY 2002; 3-Allowed states to use the vehicle limit they use in a TANF assistance program, if it would be result in a lower attribution of resources for the household. OBAMA 2009 2009 AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT raised SNAP benefits to help people affected by the recession. This temporary expansion to expire on November 1, 2013, resulting in a relative benefit decrease for SNAP households. For families of three, the cut will be $29 a month — a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014, the remaining months of fiscal year 2014. Following the expiration of the benefits expanded by the ARRA, SNAP benefits are expected average less than $1.40 per person per meal in 2014.
  26. I say they are both corrupt Dem & Rep Remember They work for us the people of the USA I or we don't work for them,Period & I am a Vietnam Veteran & the Government of the United States of America owes me my Life & they can not ever repay that even if they wanted too,they can't even give me a rating from the VA because I had a heart transplant because of Agent Orange used in Vietnam, They are all a bunch of Chooches( Jackasses) in Italian.
  27. Joseph, I had multiple by pass operation in 98 and the VA rated me at 30% for that because of Agent Orange. Get with a good Legion Service Officer and you should get rated.
  28. If I recall it was during the Reagan and George H W Bush Admin. that our military was built up and we had enough people and pay to do the job. The military started eroading after that. Then if I am not mistaken, George W Bush signed TriCare for life into law. I agree. Let's help solve the problems and stop the childish bickering.
  29. "He served several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His family used food stamps. His wife had to take out student loans in order to pay for her degree in elementary education." Really? Several tours in Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. The Base pay, imminent danger pay, combat pay, Hazardous duty pay, child care, cola etc. and no taxes. Best pay for any deployment I made. Doesn't sound like Bush caused the problem. Oh and the current president just latched on to part of my military retirement.
  30. Bush absolutely caused the problem. What are you smoking? During the time, I lived in Houston Texas. Several reservist were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Reservist spouses were all over the news crying due to the loss of income, inability to pay mortgages, and needing to apply for welfare/food stamps in order to make ends meet. My hospital adopted military families in Houston and provided support (food, finances, etc.) during that time. My cousin was on the waiting list for base housing. His wife did not qualify for BAQ as she was told that the BAQ/BAS was for the service member not the spouse. She moved in with my aunt who was her mother in law. He did receive extra pay for having dependents but no BAQ or BAS. You don't know me or my family. Stop pretending that you do.
  31. Might help if you offered so much as a shred of evidence as to how Bush II is responsible for the above. You don't know Bush or any other president so stop pretending that you do!
  32. I know that brazen bastard bush hates veterans and the military. He is a coward, just like you are Facebook bandit!!!!
  33. And he also started the "panel/committe" in 2005 that has taken away Tricare Prime from a lot of veterans-maybe this is how he wants to bridge the "military-civilian" divide-by making us use Tricare standard which makes us pay huge amount of dollars in cost shares and deductibles. THis after my husband served 20 years active duty and 10 years Air National Guard. THe answer from the "wise" ones said they have to cut back on the DOD budget and this is one way to they can do that.
  34. RE: "He started the panel/committee" Really? That's the smoking gun? If you start a committee you are responsible for the decisions of the committee?
  36. The only way some people in this country would forgive him, is if he supports Obamacare and admits he is gay.
  37. Bush and his buddies belong in jail for the war crimnes they committed. The hawks here who like Bush so much because of the wars he started need to think about why so many vets are in a difficult place and about those Americans (military and civilian contractors)who died in Iraq needlessly (all of them!) and the many Iraqi lives lost and ruined by that war.
  38. You are correct. After a Bush's war's of choice over 4,000 died and for what? Bush's 8 years were a disaster militarily and economically.
  39. Vietnam was a disaster. Iraq and Afghanistan was quick and easy. Getting the people of Iraq and Afghanistan to maintain a government and protect themselves was the disaster.
  40. Your comment is remaniscent of how our troops were treated upon return from Veitnam. It simply doesn't matter what Bush's motivation is, you could at least support what he's trying to do for our veterans. War is hell and no one knows it better than those who have experianced it. It's too bad that people like you have to put a political spin on a real problem that these veterans are having.
  41. qh yeah this is from the president who passed a law that any vet family making over 35000 dollars a year gets no medical benefits at all . you should check his record before tooting your horn .
  42. Please inform me where you got your information. I make well over 35 grand and have full VA benefits. I have a clinic and great doctor, 2 miles away, and the Bay Pines VA center and Hospital 50 miles away. For the past 30 years I have been treated at the Hospital and then the Clinic. I paid a few dollars for scripts and 0 for any visits. Now I am 70% so all meds and trips to the hospital are covered. If you can afford to contribute 6-8 dollars for scripts that can cost hundreds on civilian market, you should me glad to.
  43. No the President who passed the post 9/11 GI bill that paid for my housing, tuition, fees, books, and healthcare. Check his record before tooting your horn chief. Obama has done what? Cut military tuition assistance and COLA?? HMMMM????
  44. As the spouse of a 30 year veteran I can tell you Bush has done NOTHING but harm to the military. Especially the veterans.
  45. Agree with you 100%. George Bush is the worst president ever. Entered office with a budget surplus thanks to Bill Clinton. Ended his presidency with the economy in a free fall and two unfunded wars. Special place in hell for this horrible man.
  46. RE; Entered office with a budget surplus thanks to Bill Clinton. Just Clinton? In 93-94 Dems controlled both the House and Senate. Then for the last 6 years of Clinton's presidency, 95-00, the Reps controlled both the House and Senate. In order for Clinton to get anything done at all including signing the Republican legislation that gave us the Budget surplus, the Republicans had to create it and give it to him. Clinton is widely credited with MOVING TOWARD THE CENTER in order to get things done during those years - aka compromising. And guess what? Good things happened. OBAMA, on the other hand - IS A CLUELESS COMPLETE IDIOT along with Pelosi, Reid, Boehner and McConnell.
  47. I agree. He should just stay retired and out of sight. He has done unrepairable damage to the country.
  48. I enlisted and served-Korea. Swaggering, smirking, "Shock and Awe" Bush was given a home in an already full Guard Unit, his privileged status enabling him to leap-frog over 500 plus applicants. By Presidential order the Guard was not to be used in Vietnam. He'a cowardly draft-dodger. I support Obama, but that is irrelevant.
  49. The USMC can take any person off the street and through basic training convince them that they are the dumbest, stupidest, most worthless thing on earth and they are lower than whale droppings. They then pick that trooper up and, in AIT, convince him that he is one step below Super Man. His chest will turn bullets. The person then becomes a Marine and will remain a marine forever. You must have missed the AIT part of your training.(SFC U.S. Army Retired, V.N. vet)
  50. You support a guy who didn't serve in the military, attend elite colleges like Harvard, and bailed out the banks and built up Wall Street and stuck the Obamacare bill to the middle class. Good job Chief.
  51. Mis-spoke. Discharged in 1954. I am now retired. The draft-dodger, obsessed with "Getting Saddam", ignored multiple, credible intelligence reports pin-pointing bin Laden's location. (A matter of record) Might 911 have been avoided?
  52. Hahaha... I was thinking the same thing. Insert fake plant. Most likely a rear area POG too
  53. WHEN this President gets done spending on food stamps and hand outs lets see how much money He is going to allocate to Veterans benefits ?
  54. People don't seem to realize that Democrats hate the military. Why do they hate the military? Because the spending on the military cuts into their social program spending.
  55. Everybody doesn't think the same way. Everybody doesn't like the same food. And everybody doesn't vote the same way. Just because someone doesn't see things as I do, doesn't make them an idiot. That's our main problem now all the way to Capital Hill. It's all about me and what I think is right.
  56. Are we still looking for those WMDs in Iraq? Oh that's right there weren't any. Bush made his buddy defense contractors rich. Ya I'm sure he's worried about vets. Da
  57. Yes, we are still looking for those WMD's. Maybe we should ask Syria where they got theirs? Or maybe ask the CIA why they were watching the movement of those WMD's the entire time?
  58. And ask the SecDef why it took 2+ years to get ready to go after the WMD that Colin Powell showed us and "every" european government was telling us about.....
  59. You are correct; I remember all the no bid contracts. Over 3 trillion Dollars and counting in money down the hole and the Iraqis are still killing themselves.
  60. What's interesting is that allegedly Bush II read numerous books on Iraq - some of which were neocon fantasies, but most of which (allegedly) were honest assessments or histories of Iraq. And yet, he still thought we could change the Middle East. It is not possible to read the history of Iraq or Afghanistan and think we can change it very much - and highly doubtful for the better. That neocon kool-aid must be some serious stuff. This is why you don't do drugs. But did he listen to Nancy. NO!
  61. Hey Homie you need to brush up on Saddams' al-anfal campaign. Did you ever hear of Hallubja? Do you think all the Kurds were killed with dog shit? Cool aid is toxic for your mind.
  62. And you must have never been there. Marines found CYANIDE and MUSTARD GAS elements (ROPU) while trying to purify potable water on the advance to Baghdad. IRONICALLY MSNBC broke the story but they scrubbed it from their site. TOO BAD you can't erase OUTGOING LINKS from that story. "Hasan..quick the Infidels are coming... let's look like martyrs and claim there were no WMDs in spite of the fact that the Americans still have the RECEIPTS from the NBC gear they sold us in the 80's". SGT AZ... I was on that advance and I'm TIRED of this MYTH that there was NO WMDS!!!! Did Saddam have nuclear...NO...was he working on it... YES!!! Did he have Chem/Bio??? You have to be a moron or a know nothing POG to answer that in the negative.
  63. If there were any WMD's -of any significance- in Iraq, I am pretty sure that the Bush maladministration would have publicized that fact pretty well. There were stories on "CYANIDE and MUSTARD GAS elements" which indicated he had them and which we already knew for certain that he had them before. The question was whether he still had them and how much. Regardless, the main allegation of WMD was that Sadman was attempting to make a nuke, which was false, and that he had the capability to deliver BC or weaponized BC, which he did not. BUSH LIED!!!!
  64. Idiot response; keep buying in to all that Liberal crap. Bush was a president who at least respected our military & not just when it was politically convenient.
  65. He MAY have commanded a lot more of my respect had he fullfilled HIS military obligations. Personally, I can't give the man a free pass for the Iraq boner nor his inability to be engaged in tracking down Bin Laden. Any response starting with "Idiot response" requires additional scrutiny regarding facts and value!
  66. No wonder your header is anonymous. With comments like the one above you should remain anonymous. Sadam killed by gas thousands (WMD) of Kurds. The issue was the left in the United Nations gave him time to move it to Syria. Now we are attempting to get them to give it up. Obviously your no VET.
  67. Had no idea so many of my fellow vets are so nuts, Talk about disorder. Obama doesn't even like America. You want to experience the VA as a mess you should have tried dealing with them under "Peanuts" Carter. And a disabled Vietnam vet was administrator. Shinseki's a big shot disinterested general. What a bunch of S-heads and A-holes vets can be
  68. I was in the service in the first 1/2 of the 80's. I was a pipe fitter / plumber in the Air Force. When I got out I got a job working as a plumber's helper to make money so I could afford to go to college. The State of CT never gave me hour for hour that I spend plumbing in the Air Force and never counted any classes taken in the Air Force credited to a Journeyman's license. I think in 5 years they gave me like 6 or 8 months of work in the field. That was it. It would have been nice to be able to get that license or even just let me take the test with credit earned in the Air Force. No the State of CT wanted me to start at square one and go through their program and school, (Which is free) and spend 4 years as an apprentice. As a Sargent in the Air Force I was already considered a journeyman but not by the State of CT. I did graduate college but I never had the time simultaneously take plumbing classes to get my license. It would be nice to have just to fall back on in these hard times. I'm a computer programmer and things are always looking dicey in the job market. It would be nice to just hang a shingle and do side jobs. I hope that these kind of things get fixed for the guy and gals coming out of the service today.
  69. You're right XNAVY. All of the gains for the veterans have been made under O'Bama. I couldn't even get a pair of glasses when Bush was in. The big shakeup has been with Shinseki and O'Bama. Some can't remember and some just refuse to admit.
  70. What gains were those? Military-wide moral corruption like openly serving gays, lesbians and same sex marriage? Oh yeah, lot of gains under Obama. And, don't forget his wife's "first time I am proud to be an American' statement.
  71. AH YES, another homophobic with latent homosexual tendencies! "Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still." Chinese Proverb
  72. What gains under Obama. Where is it when you signed up that you would have entitlements the rest of your life. Unless you retired with 20 years or disabled. I got the GI Bill as did many others. Thank you Bush..
  73. Obama and Shinseki added diseases to the list of Agent Orange Presumptives that the Bush administration and his VA Secretary refused to recognize. Bush did little for vets, especially disabled vets, other than work hard to make more of them. The guy is a phony, always has been, always will be.
  74. I voted for GW, but was disillusioned when he constantly vetoed active and veterans legislation. Now he wants to help vets? Sorry, Mr. President, too little and definitely too late.
  75. Politics: "Poli" in Latin meaning Many; "Tics" meaning bloodsucking creatures!
  76. It's never to late to appreciate what our service men do! Every little bit counts, just ask those of us who are receiving benefits! Thank you President George Bush, President Barack Obama and everyone in office who have done even the least bit to help us vets. God Bless America!
  77. Just so ya know I ain't an armchair quarterback, I fought in the Cold War and the Gulf War. With that here are my 2-cents: Ya know what they say about the duality of opinions and something else. Some of y'all have sour grapes and some don't. That's nice. What're y'all disgruntled folks gonna do? You can stew with your sour grapes and not get anywhere but madder, or you can try just a little harder and pick yourselves up. Demanding someone other than yourselves wave their magic wand only makes you look pathetic. I've got my demons and maladies and I'm bogged down in VA too, but I refuse to be pitied. It sounds to me like some are making pity their life's work.
  78. Let's stop this BS about who is the biggest draft dodger -- Bush, Cheney, or Clinton. They all are and the first to commit US troops to wars and the last to have family members or their wealth supporters involved in the US Military. As for knee jerk comments regarding socialism, back off a bit and look at the mess the US has achieved thanks to Big Business. Big Business has used lies and deceit to get Free Trade implemented so whole industries and jobs can be shipped overseas (mostly China) and the products brought in duty free for sale in the US. If anyone believes Big Business is a friend to Vets that person has serious mental problems with understanding the facts. Repubs and Dems don't create jobs -- Big Business does. If Big Business can make 1 cent more in profits by making an item in China, it does. I could care less which form of government we have or what it is called if that government can control Big business and keep jobs and our way of life alive and well here in the US -- and not in china.
  79. This is why I strongly support a peace-time draft similar to Israel's. If everyone's kids had to go to war, I am just short of certain that we would never have gone in to Iraq. Because they really would have had to justify it and they could not have. Plus, it would ensure that even many Democrats and almost all politicians would be far more supportive and understanding of the military, including not wanting to go to war. I see win-win with a peace draft. However unlikely it may be.
  80. Hey Dadbug, First let me agree with you that all those that have been in the White House (including VP's) since Bush 1 are all poor excuses for Military leaders. But I do have to take exception to your comment that "I could care less which form of government we have" "if that government can control Big business". Well, I and my family all fought for this form of government! My Dad was a survivor of the Bataan death march and spent 5 years as a Japanese POW. All he and the soldiers that endured that Hell on Earth fought to survive to come home to this form of government! I served with pride in the Air Force to keep this form of government! So, if you don't like it LEAVE IT! I'm sure there's room for you in country's that have governments that control big business. Like Cuba, numerous country's in south america and of course China! You can leave this country to those of us that want to fix the things that are wrong and keep control where it needs to be - with the people!
  81. Why "LEAVE IT" when they can just ignore parts of the Constitution that they don't like? VIGILANCE IS THE PRICE OF FREEDOM, but few there be today who are willing to pay it. Never has that maxim been truer than today. Never has that maxim been so unknown or ignored than today. It really does take a serious effort to keep up with all the information coming at us today. But if our soldiers since the days of our country's birth can sacrifice life and limb for our freedom, then we are an ungrateful nation if we cannot spend the time it takes - 1. to vote, and 2. to vote intelligently; and 3. to communicate with our legislators on what they should and should not be doing. But here we sit today with our freedoms literally disappearing before our eyes and with an economic Armageddon coming at us like a freight train, and yet so many pretend not to know. It doesn't take more than a 6th grade education to figure out if we don't stop spending more than our income, and if we don't stop raising taxes, it's all going to explode to an extent that will make the Great Depression look appealing. And guess what happens when major crises occur? Freedoms go out the window real because Americans are now stupid and lazy we don't want to be uncomfortable. 19 Terrorists with average skills and little training in security and espionage took out 3000 Americans. Not because of their highly skilled training, but because of our bungling ineptitude. All the information we needed to prevent it was right there in front of our eyes. Except we had 5 or 6 eyes which don't communicate very well. So did we fix the actual problem? Somewhat. But then we fixed a lot more things were not broke. So now thanks to American fear and the Patriot Act, Bin Laden has succeeded in destroying so much more of America than he ever could even have imagined.
  82. I like your post sir, & agree with you 100%. Thanks for yours & your Dad's service. It is men like you, who this country will need to KEEP the liberties & freedoms we enjoy here in the good ole USA.
  83. Let's not forget that the US has the highest coporate tax rate in the world. So, it's no wonder that businesses would turn to out-sourcing. It's evident that Big Business haters have deranged the discussion again. Hate the game not the player.
  84. They just can't figure out why it is that when you demonize and punish people for success, one of the things that any rational person who wants to succeed does is to go to another place where they don't get punished for doing something good. This is fundamental, basic human behavior which they themselves respond to just the same. But for some reason it still doesn't make sense to them. How do you explain to someone that the black wall in front of them is black when they are telling you it is white? In some cases, and even though the color chart in their hand shows that it is black? What can you say?
  85. OUCH!!! Bush wants to help Veterans? Is he not wanted in other country's for WAR CRIMES!
  87. Well my comments got lost, so here we go again. Lefty or righty, Democrat or Republican, tell me what part tried to disenfranchise active duty personell in the last few elections. Then tell me what president is wearing the white hat and who is wearing the black hat. No reference to race; white and black hats for better or worse symbolize righteouness and villany.
  88. There was a time when the VA Hospitals were dark and dungy. Today they are anything but that and they DO service any Veteran who wants or needs help. That means current new Veterans or from any period in the past. (Any Civil War Vets still around???)
  89. Former President Bush is and has supported our former (which is true because I am a veteran from the 60's)veterans I know this because I have talked to members of the Fallen Heroes, and George takes them to golf in Austin, and he salutes each and everyone of us who have served and those who are serving now, he does so much more. Although he did send our troupes into harems way, but yours and not mine President Obama (since I didn't vote for him either time) he has been in office for over 6 years now and our brave men are still there you need to put politics aside and support our men who are facing very hard and trouble some times now and also those who are hurting from our time that did serve during Vietnam. You naysayers make me sick.............
  91. Supported returning troops? What about the thousands he sent into battle that never returned? Only an idiot would praise GWB for screwing up the entire world, he and Dick Cheney should face a firing squad. Saddam Hussein was a boy scout compared to these two idiots.
  92. Some of you trying to politicize this is pathetic. Ltravis... first learn how to spell LOST (and I agree the VA is a mess and always has been). Secondly, let's not forget the letter of HATE that Slick Willy Clinton wrote to his ROTC commander to slime his way out of the war (not to mention his utter contempt for the military) AND the loser SOB that is currently occupying the White House in getting troops KILLED (e.g. cutting our FUNDING and the "Obama Rules of Engagement" which costs lives to this day in Afghanistan). Personally, I think Bush is a dirt bag too BUT there is no question in how he has supported us after leaving office (he could just collect $$$ on speaking tours like Clinton or the others) PLUS ask any currently serving soldier or Marine whom they respect more as commander in chief of the last 3 presidents I just alluded to. Finally Fogarty, when I first got out in 2005 my business THRIVED in a free market environment (Bush got 50% of the economy right..LOWER TAXES, but CUT SPENDING which he couldn't get himself to do), UNLIKE NOW that we've been transformed into a quasi-socialist state with a man child in office who has DOUBLED spending on entitlement programs my generation won't see ONE PENNY of. I'd love for someone to compile a list of the efforts Clinton made for veterans and not to MENTION this clown we have in office now. Truth Hurts sometimes SSGT. P
  93. You only got one thing right "Bush is a dirt bag" Bush's wars of choice cost over 3 trillion dollars, guess who's paying for it now? Over 3,000 died and over 100,000 wounded and for what? Those people are still killing each other.
  94. and sir will you tell me what you think is so great about the moron in the WH now. You must have come into possession of some of his stimulus package, I sure as heck haven't & don't want any. He is turning this country into a marxist/socialist country. I would vote even now, for Bush, before this ignoramus in the WH now.
  95. GWB got a free heart stent, DC got a free heart, both idiots conspired to mass innocent troops and civilians, tywo of the greatest idiots of all times, they should have been left to die for their flagrant misdeeds.
  96. Thank you for getting the past & current state of affairs about 90% correct. Bush wasn't the smartest president, or the most eloquent of speakers. But, even in office he was better than the clown currently befouling the White House.
  97. Amen to that Brother! Can't wait to Barry leaves office. Hope the GOP gets it's head out of it's butt and nominates a conservative for President in the next election. If they don't we will end up with the first female President who is also crazy as a loon!
  98. Mr. Bush and his Vice-President made enough money from the wars that he started against Iran and Afghanistan. He should be supporting EVERY veteran that comes back as well as provide child support for all of the children that lost one of their parents in these wars.
  99. What about the millions that Feinstein and other Democrats made off the war? Or is that different because they are Democrats?
  100. That is an unproved political claim. Show where we can see evidence to support it. Why use the same tired un-verifiable cliches repetitively? This epitomizes the Paul Pegala way. Outrageousness and repetition. Works every time on people unfamiliar with the issues and facts.
  101. That is an unproved political claim. Show where we can see evidence to support it. Why use the same tired un-verifiable cliches repetitively? This epitomizes the Paul Pegala way. Outrageousness and repetition. Works every time on people unfamiliar with the issues and facts.
  102. "Mr. Bush and his Vice-President made enough money from the wars that he started against Iran and Afghanistan. He should be supporting EVERY veteran that comes back as well as provide child support for all of the children that lost one of their parents in these wars." THIS ONE!!
  103. why didnt he do something while he was in office and had some authority?anyone ever notice the resemblance to Alfred E. Newman..."what me worry?"
  104. Wouldn't you love to have George W back in office now or do you like the Socialist road Obama is taking us. You need to get over it. Your life is what you make it with hard work and determination. When Government cannot take care of you they can only hinder you unless you like to sit on your rear and collect the candy handed out by the Gov.
  105. This country still owes the veterans from Viet Nam the support and benefits they need. As the spouse of a veteran suffering from PTSD I live with the affects of Viet Nam 24/7. ALL of our veteran's deserve support and care as do their families.
  106. They got support for PTSD. I had to commit my brother for 4 weeks because it. The VA did him well.
  107. Well since Bush sent my Army Nat Guard Husband to Iraq in 2005 maybe he should now get his ass in gear and assist those veterans across this nation who are lossed in the broken VA their rightfull benefits from the ravages of war. Oh, yeah, he wouldn't know anything about having to seek services earned from serving for this country as his Daddy go him out of going to Vietnam and his military sevice. Just more lip service......
  108. But Thomas, sounds like you are disappointed in having your FREEDOM. I guess you would rather just have Mother gover give you what you need. At least this is a giant step in the direction.
  109. Politicians that make gestures like Bush is doing are just doing what politicians do. I thought Bush made a courageous move to go after bin laden after 9/11. After that he got carried away and invaded Iraq. A lot of money was made. I am a former Marine and A hero I admire is Gen Smedley Butler who grew sick of fighting for money makers. The thing that really bothers me about Bush is his little comedy routine at the press conference. He filmed himself looking under his desk for WMDs. I thought that was throwing mud in the faces of the troops that fought and died in Iraq looking for those WMDs. I just don't understand how Bush got away with that disgusting display and how he is still considered a good man who really cares about service men.
  110. Amen: I got discharged in 67, went to college on GI Bill, bought a home under VA and have been serviced for medical reasons since then and I still am under the care of a VA hospital. They are a great organization and I'm very proud to be an American and proud of George W Bush.
  111. I agree with you BostonBlackie. I've been getting VA Health care since '77. I also went to school and bought my home through the VA. I have often thought that the VFW, American Legion, Amvets and other VSOs should ban together as a voting block. Much like the unions, welfare and all the rest do. You don't have to read very many comments here to understand that will never happen. I guess where you stand on the issues depends on where you sit. As vets we're not all sitting at the same station in life. We are all lucky to live in a country where that is possible.
  112. I can't believe ex-military said that. Socialism is 1 step away from Communism. Our constitution was set in place to stop a dictator-ship which is what Obama is a, dictator--he don't bother going to congress--he bypass with executive-order. The Democracy we have to day is socialistic not the Democracy of the 70's. The Democrats during Johnson administration pulled the money out of social security and put in the general fund. Clinton came along and taxed it. You people blame Bush for the mistakes made by the Democrats. Clinton thought everyone should own their own home, so he dropped the stats.p to qualify for a loan and people who could afford a home," bought". Then Fannie-mae etc, filed bankruptcy. The last 10-12 years congress was controlled by the Democrats. All but the last two years the house was controlled by Democrats. So it don't make a lot of sence for you to blame the Republicans for any of the problems our country is facing now. Bush never used executive-power to force something down the American peoples throat!
  113. ExNavy, did your rowboat spring a leak? By "doing more" do you mean stuff like cutting retirement COLAs?
  114. Like making Veterans who are suffering from service connected, even Purple Heart elegable, disabilities pay for their own care.
  115. Put on your glasses son !! Where have ya been ??? Carter was a god compared to this Lame brained IDIOT
  116. Put on your glasses son !! Where have ya been ??? Carter was a god compared to this Lame brained IDIOT
  117. I would not trust A bush. He never did anything for me or any others in the middle class
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