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President Bush Addresses Service Members and Families at Fort Carson Transition Summit

September 15, 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — President George W. Bush addressed an audience of nearly 1000 service members, veterans and their families on the second day of the Fort Carson Transition Summit in Colorado Springs. Held in partnership with the George W. Bush Institute, the USO Transition 360 Alliance and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes, the summit stop on Sept. 13th and 14th, is part of President Bush’s ongoing work with service members transitioning out of the military.

“Many of the troops here today represent the very best of America,” said President Bush.  “Saluting our troops as Commander-in-Chief was the honor of a lifetime.  In my post-presidency, I have vowed to spend the rest of my life helping our vets, and at the Bush Institute, we focus on helping our men and women who wear our Nation’s uniform as they transition out of the military. “

The two-day event was a collaborative effort between the public and private sector and was designed to connect members of the military community with meaningful employment opportunities before they transition out of the armed forces. Senior leaders from military and industry also attended the summit in order to learn and share best practices in hiring veterans and military spouses.

"We are thrilled to have President Bush as part of our event here at Fort Carson to share his leadership on military family employment and transition," said Eric Eversole, President of Hiring Our Heroes and a Vice President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  "Having the president here, and being able to partner with great organizations like the George W. Bush Institute and the USO is a prime example of what we can accomplish when we work together to address the complex challenges faced by military families and chart the way ahead."

The collaboration between these three organizations shows the impact of community partners working together to solve the complex issues surrounding a service member’s transition as they plan for life after the military. The partnerships between these organizations go far beyond the events in Colorado Springs. Hiring our Heroes recently became a partner of the USO Transition 360 Alliance, an initiative that puts all the resources for transitioning service members and their families in one place, so that it’s easy to plan for what’s next. Together, both will reach and provide transition services to hundreds of service members and families at summits around the country. Hiring our Heroes and the Bush Institute also launched the Veteran Employment Transition Roadmap— a tool that captures and consolidates essential steps with best-in-class resources to help service members and veterans navigate the landscape and succeed in the civilian workforce. A digital version of the Roadmap will be released later this year.

In addition to the events at Fort Carson, afternoon panel discussions took place at Cheyenne Mountain Resort on Sept 14th as part of a Military Transition and Community Engagement Summit made possibly by all three organizations. This was an opportunity to bring together key stakeholders and have candid conversations that provided perspectives on how far we have come as a nation in supporting military transition and how we can continue to make strides in our local communities.

“We have come together today in Colorado Springs to carry on what our past Commander in Chief Understood,” said J.D. Crouch II, USO CEO and President. “Keeping faith with the generation of young Americans who volunteers after 9/11, as they transition out of the military, is as vital to our national security as it is a small down payment on the debt we owe them for their service.” 

This portion also highlighted the collective impact public and private sector entities are making together to help guide military transition both locally and nationally.  

"We see veteran integration as critical to our purpose of helping communities grow,” Jeff Cathey, Senior Military Affairs Executive, Bank of America. “Corporate America is stepping up by going out and grabbing these veterans to help bring them back into the civilian sector.”

The Fort Carson Transition Summit was sponsored by CarMax, Lockheed Martin, MAXIMUS, Toyota, and USAA. The Military Transition and Community Engagement Summit at Cheyenne Mountain 

Resort was made possible by presenting sponsor Bank of America and local sponsors FedEx, Colorado Technical University, El Pomar Foundation and Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence.

To view photos from the event, please visit https://flic.kr/s/aHskDCFoj7.

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