featured person for program

Veteran Transition

By addressing the challenges veterans face, we unleash the potential of a generation of resourceful, determined, and experienced leaders.

Many of the 2.7 million veterans who have served since 9/11 often return home to face challenges transitioning back into civilian life.  We have a duty to understand and serve those who volunteered to wear the uniform in defense of our Nation.

Research shows a civilian-military divide: 71% of Americans say they have little understanding of the issues facing post-9/11 veterans. And veterans agree: 84% say that the public has “little awareness” of the issues facing them and their families.

Core Components

Employment Transition
The Bush Institute partnered with the US Chamber of Commerce, Federal agencies, private business, and non-profits, to develop the Veteran Employment Transition Roadmap. This guide for veterans seeks to help transition and succeed in the civilian workforce.

View the Roadmap

The invisible wounds of war – traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress (PTS), and other mental health injuries serve as a significant barrier to continued education, employment, and quality of life. In December 2015, the Bush Institute announced a major initiative to address these injuries to ensure veterans and caregivers seek and receive comprehensive care and reduce the stigma associated with these wounds.

About the initiative

Collective Impact
Americans hold a strong desire to help veterans, but often don’t know the best way to do so. Out of more than two million non-profit organizations in the U.S., 45,000 serve military personnel and their families.  We aim to empower these non-profits and their funders to develop more effective services and impactful outcomes for veterans.

Funder and non-profit resources

In the Spotlight: Corporal Dave Smith, USMC

Dave Smith enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2003.  He deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was engaged in some of the war's heaviest fighting.  He was honorably discharged in 2007 but experienced severe post-traumatic stress (PTS).  "When you go to war, something in you changes," he said.

He was angry, and worried about the stigma of PTS. "We don't admit weakness.  That's not part of our warrior culture," he explained.  But things got worse -- at one point, he even contemplated suicide.  Then a fellow warrior gave him the wake-up call he needed.  "He had the courage," Dave recalled, "to tell me, 'I'm getting help.  I'm working on this, and you should too.' So Dave took ownership of his transition.

He rode in the 2012 W100K ride, and since then has become one of the most active members members of Team 43.  By sharing his story and encouraging others to make a difference, he helps others remember that they are not forgotten and their sacrifices were not in vain -- and that moving towards a successful transition is a major priority.

Recommended Resources

Related Articles


of Americans have little to no understanding of the issues facing our post-9/11 veterans


Presidential Leadership Scholars Graduation 2015

Connect With Us

Social Media

Twitter: @thebushcenter
Facebook: TheBushCenter


of our post-9/11 veterans would recommend military service to a young person

Support Our Work