I have a confession. I think “Dubya” is adorable.
That’s right. George W. Bush.
Did you see him fight with a poncho during the inauguration? Priceless.
Have you noticed that he’s doing good work since he left the White House?
Did you know he paints? He painted wounded warriors that he was able to meet.
I love his heart.
Portraits of Courage: A Commander In-Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors is an amazing look at the stories of men and women who have fought for our country. What is more impressive is the story that goes along with the painting. President Bush took up painting and decided to paint these heroes and write a personal note, story, to give readers the opportunity to see the faces of those who have answered the nation’s call. We need more American support for our Veterans and we need to listen, see, and empower them.
This book and the work of President Bush and others are doing just that.
I keep up with the George W. Bush Presidential Center on Facebook. Every so often there’s an amazing story, video, or other valuable information shared there and I bookmark it, always meaning to come back to it when I have time. Two things struck me from the Facebook page this week.
- President Bush talks about peer-to-peer counseling. The best way that a Veteran can get help can be seeking a fellow Veteran. How do I know this? This is the very reason Sam works for the VA as a Peer Counselor. Veterans can be willing and ready to talk to other Veterans. I love that the Bush Institute is addressing invisible wounds through the Warrior Wellness Alliance. We must get to know our Vets.
- Defeating the stigma of post-traumatic stress…so.much.yes. There’s a reason why some Veterans will not accept help, seek treatment, or even go in for a diagnosis…and that’s the “d” word that is sometimes associated with post-traumatic stress. I admit. I have trouble saying it…disorder. I don’t want to say it. There’s an important clip via NBC News about knowing our Veterans and reducing the stigma that is sometimes associated with PTS(D)…let’s all work on removing disorder and work on helping Veterans and their families.
Did you know that at least 71% of Americans have little to no understanding of the issues facing our Veterans who are post-9/11 Vets?
That is shocking.
Military service is a huge part of an identity for some Veterans (read some, not all). We have to work on understanding our Veterans, the issues they face along with their families, caregivers, and children. The 71%…that number is too high. The divide is too large.
About 84% of Veterans feel the public has “little awareness” of the issues that face them and their families.
That is heartbreaking.
Managing invisible wounds can be daunting, challenging, and overwhelming. I see that on a daily basis. Fortunately, we’ve had some great help through the VA and This Able Veteran. I know not all Veterans have these opportunities. I hope that by sharing our story that we can reach others, we can show others there is hope and there is help.
Despite what you feel about George W. Bush, what you thought about his presidency, his policies, his decisions, you have to admit, he is doing good things for Veterans. That should be a bright light in a time when the world and society can seem so dim.
Check out the Bush Institute, or like their page on Facebook.