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The Year in Review for the Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative
The Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative (MSI) is focused on helping post-9/11 veterans and their families make a successful transition to civilian life.
Here’s a look back at our 2015 events and what’s to come for MSI in 2016. As we enter our 4th year, we realize this milestone was made possible by the support of friends like you. We offer our thanks and wish you much peace and great joy during this holiday season and throughout the New Year.
February Summit – Collective Impact:
In February 2015, the Bush Institute examined veteran-serving non-profit organizations to identify how they, and the funding community, can be more effective. The report, Serving Our Post-9/11 Veterans, identified best practices for non-profits and funders based on case studies and research conducted this year by the Bush Institute with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families.
This spring, approximately 20 servicemen and women wounded in the global war on terror joined President George W. Bush for a 100-kilometer mountain bike ride. Part of the Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative, the W100K highlights the bravery and sacrifice of warriors and recognizes organizations that support America’s veterans.
June Summit – Veteran Employment Transition:
In June 2015, the Institute partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring our Heroes initiative to release the Veteran Employment Transition (VET) Roadmap. The Roadmap is a tool that provides transitioning service members and veterans resources for navigating the employment landscape and succeeding in the civilian workforce.
In October, the Institute hosted its 5th Warrior Open, a competitive 36-hole golf tournament. This year’s winner, Marine veteran Andrew Bachelder, said golf saved his life. The event honors U.S. service members who serve and sacrifice to defend the United States of America.
Veterans Day 2015:
On Veterans Day, President Bush surprised a group of veterans at the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum in Dallas, Texas. As they were touring the Oval Office exhibit, he dropped by to express his gratitude for their service and talk about the Bush Institute’s work on veteran transition.
Military Service Initiative Advisory Council:
An MSI Advisory Council was established to advise and support the President and leadership of the Bush Institute on key Strategic and Programming priorities. Members of the Advisory Council include: Gen. Peter Pace, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Joe DePinto, Ms. Anne M. Finucane, Erica Jeffries, Rita Kirk, Tom Luce, Carlos Martinez, The Honorable R. James Nicholson, Soledad O’Brien, Michael “Rod” Rodriguez, Tim Shubzda, and Kelvin Womack.
Coming in 2016: Bush Center Teams with Invictus Games
Last week, the George W. Bush Institute announced a major initiative to address the invisible wounds of war, specifically Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). The purpose of this is to ensure veterans and caregivers seek and receive comprehensive care and reduce the stigma associated with these wounds.
To kick off the effort, President George W. Bush and Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Invictus Games 2016, the largest military adaptive sports competition, announced that the Bush Institute will chair a policy symposium in May 2016 to kick off the Games.
President Bush will also serve as honorary chair for the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando. The policy symposium will highlight the role sports and an active lifestyle play in a veteran’s recovery.
"I’m proud to serve as honorary chairman of the Invictus Games Orlando 2016, and to shine a spotlight on the unconquered spirit of these men and women, not just from the American team but from 15 Coalition nations." - President George W. Bush
Ashley McConkey manages communications for the George W. Bush Presidential Center and is responsible for message development on behalf of the Economic Growth, Human Freedom and Military Service initiatives.
Before joining the Bush Center, McConkey worked in the communications and public policy arena in Austin, Texas for both non-profit and corporate entities. She also served as a Budget and Policy Adviser to Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.
McConkey grew up in Greenville, Texas and moved to Austin to study Political Science at St. Edward’s University. She and her husband reside in Dallas.Full Bio
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