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'This Week' Sunday Spotlight: President George W. Bush

Former President George W. Bush and Team Rubicon's Jacob Wood on reintegrating war veterans into the civilian world.
3:00 | 02/23/14

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Transcript for 'This Week' Sunday Spotlight: President George W. Bush
institute and Syracuse university on how to reintegrate returning veterans into the civilian world and work force. The former president and I sat down in Dallas, joined by veteran and non-profit entrepreneur Jake wood. We have a problem. Too many vets are unemployed. And, you know, there's what we call a civilian-military divide. In other words, returning vets think one thing, the civilian population thinks another. And our aim is to get people to understand each other better for the good of the veteran community. Veterans are looking to be understood and challenged. Wood is the perfect example. A former marine corp. Squad leader in Iraq and sniper in Afghanistan, he returned home to cofound team rubicon. A non-profit of veterans and doctors who respond to disasters at home and around the world. From the Philippines to Oklahoma, putting the skills they learned in combat, logistics, teamwork and problem-solving to work. But more needs to be done for the tens of thousands of veterans looking for work. There's an opportunity to organizations like team rubicon to provide veterans with that sense of purpose, that sense of mission they had when they had the uniform on. For president bush, knowing the great cost of these wars, 6800 American service members killed, and 51,000 wounded, this new initiative to help returning veterans helps him as well. I think all of us, and I'll include myself in that, feel deeply about veterans. But for you, Mr. President, it has to help you cope with what happened in those wars. No question it helps. Yeah, I have duty. Obviously got slightly emotional talking about our vets because I have an emotional -- I'm in there with them. But my spirit is uplifted when I visit with vets. There's no self-pity. We have a society that's incredibly comfortable. We have too many people saying woe is me. Not our veteran community. They don't say woe is me. They say what can I do to continue to serve? A warrior and his old commander in chief, served in the same wars, now united by a new struggle. How can we bring them together to share these stories with a mutual understanding so we can heal together. Sorry to butt in. I'm not sorry, I butted in. You're president. You get to. But here's what the country will ultimately understand, that one of the great resources we have in our nation is vets such as Jake. If he chooses to join the united States marine corp. And serves in combat in two theaters, that's a pretty unique person who's willing to take that kind of risk. And to make that kind of sacrifice. Well, those are characteristics that are hard to teach. Though the distance might seem great between the battle fields of Afghanistan and the bullet points of bush's big study -- Our mission here is not only to remind people we have a duty to our vets, but when they exercise that duty, it's done in an efficient way. Jake, for example, I'll make a pitch for him. He does good work. Support his program. How about that? Hey, that's a good endorsement. Not bad. Yeah. Back now with the roundtable. Bill kristol, Matthew dowd, you have sons who served in those wars. War in Iraq, Afghanistan. The country's war-weary. I know the president has great hopes for this study working and joining up vets with the work force. But how do you keep the country interested? How do you go forward with this? Well, the country's war-weary, but deeply respectful of what the veterans accomplished. And they understand they don't want pity. Maybe help reintegrating into the civilian work force. That's happening in the private sector and in and out of the military, and I'm glad president bush is taking it on. Do you worry about the future for the veterans as the country forgets? I worry very much for them. As you know I've been critical of the president in the past having served him and in the two campaigns. I was critical of him and the wars and all that. But I have a son in that. I think the president has done yeoman's work. You can tell his heart is connected with this. I have a son who was fluent in arabic, and he runs the operations for a charter school in the projects in Brooklyn. Nobody in the military helped him get that job. Nobody in government helped him get that job. He got that job on his own. The problem is every department is siloed. The labor and commerce department. And the vets have characteristics that people don't see. They don't need to go into a security job. They can go into a leadership job in a company. We have not done enough. And it's coordinating those two things. 8,000 veterans among the homeless. That's definitely what they're looking at too at the bush institute. And donna, I just to want see how you feel about the reputation of George bush after that war. Has the public softened on him when he does things like this? There's no question, like many presidents after their term in office, the American people get to see another side of them. But as a daughter of a veteran, we value their service, their sacrifice. But with 10% or more unemployed, we need to help them find work. And that's why I'm proud that the first lady and Mrs. Jill Biden are doing that. Jill Biden was at the summit as well. Thank you very much. Thanks to all of you. We'll be right back after this. Thanks to all of you. We'll be right back after this. Cs Test Text1 plain And now, again, we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice. This week, the Pentagon released the name of one marine killed in Afghanistan. That's all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "World news" with David Muir tonight. And before we go, a shoutout to our newest viewer, Liam Gerard Alexander Zachary. There he is with proud mom and "This week" producer, Kate Mccarthy. Liam was born Tuesday. Give him a few days and he'll be ready to join the roundtable. Our best to Kate and her husband drew and, of course, little Liam. Have a great day. Roundtable.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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