Former President George W. Bush speaks during an event, May 15, 2012, in Washington, DC.
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George W. Bush: Let’s do better by our veterans


George W. Bush announced he’s putting veterans’ issues at the top of his post-presidential agenda, and he’s starting with working to remove the “Disorder” wording from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“We’re getting rid of the D,” Bush told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on ABC’s This Week. “PTS is an injury; it’s not a disorder.  The problem is when you call it a disorder, [veterans] don’t think they can be treated,” he said.

Bush has been speaking publicly on the issue, following a joint study from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and Syracuse University on veterans issues, which he addressed during the “Empowering Our Nation’s Warriors” summit last week in Dallas. During the summit, Bush stated his insitute would be releasing results this spring of “one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted of post-9/11 veterans.”

Bush also noted during the speech that “84% of the veterans say that the American public has “little awareness” of the challenges facing them and their families.”

“We’ve got a problem,” Bush said during the ABC interview. “Too many vets are unemployed, and there’s what we call a civilian/military divide. In other words, the returning vets think one thing and the civilian population thinks another. Our aim is to get people to understand each other better for the benefit of the veteran community.”

Bush appeared next to Jacob Wood, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. After returning, Wood founded the disaster relief non-profit Team Rubicon, which has sent veterans and doctors to places like Joplin, Missouri and the Jersey Shore.

“Veterans are simply looking to be understood; they’re looking to be challenged,” Wood says.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 2/19/14, 10:25 PM ET

Bush advocates for veterans of his wars

Rachel Maddow reports on a new initiative by former President George W. Bush to advocate for veterans of the wars he started and didn’t finish.

George W. Bush: Let's do better by our veterans