First Ladies Obama and Bush Urge Next President to Prioritize Veterans

"Keep the pressure on the next administration," Obama said.

“I would hope that any commander-in-chief that would have the privilege of serving would understand that these are real lives and real families that are impacted,” Obama said.

Bush said her nights in the White House were often filled with thoughts of troops when her husband was in office.

“You think about them every single night when you get in bed,” she said. “And there, where you're in the lap of luxury, a really beautiful house where your sheets are changed every single day, it really couldn't be more luxurious, and you think when you get in bed about our troops [who] are lying down on the ground somewhere,” she said.

But there is good news: “There are fewer of our men and women who are being injured in war, and that feels good,” Obama said.

Joining Forces has had significant success in veteran employment, with over 1.2 million veterans and military spouses hired or trained since its creation, as well as legislation passed in all 50 states making it easier for military spouses to receive licensing in new states when their spouse is deployed.

With a new administration on the way into the White House and fewer numbers of active military personnel being deployed, the transition from combat to civilian will continue to be an important focal point for the next presidency.

“Keep the pressure on the next administration, hold them accountable and ask the same important questions that you have asked these presidencies,” Obama urged the audience. “I would hope that this responsibility comes with the house, and every administration will try and top the next one in what they do for these men and women.”

ABC News' Mariam Khan contributed to this story.