I know you’ll want to join us for our broadcast tomorrow for a special conversation I had with former President George W. Bush. We’ll discuss his appreciation for our military and his efforts to support wounded warriors.
The former president holds our men and women in uniform in such high regard that he vowed to help veterans for the rest of his life after he left office in 2009. He does that through the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, where our broadcast was recorded.
Former President Bush raises money and draws awareness to programs that are successfully helping veterans with their physical and emotional recovery. Those opportunities often come through faith, music, exercise, peer-to-peer counseling, and PTS counseling (which stands for Post-Traumatic Stress. They drop the D from PTSD because they treat the condition as an injury, not a disorder.)
The former president’s latest effort on behalf of veterans is a book titled Portraits of Courage: A Commander-in-Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors. It includes sixty-six full-color portraits he painted of physically or emotionally injured service people. Profits from the book go to programs that assist our veterans.
Former President Bush began painting after discovering Winston Churchill’s essay, “Painting as a Pastime.” Inspired, the former president hired an instructor and has been painting nearly every day for five years.
He began painting the portraits themselves as a way to commemorate some of the veterans he has met since leaving office and to honor all of the men and women who have served our nation. We’ll hear from some of those troops as they share about how they’ve seen their former commander in chief’s Christian faith in action in their lives.
Few of us have experienced the horrors of war or truly understand what our soldiers go through. I appreciate former President Bush’s persistence in reminding the nation about the contribution and the sacrifice our military makes for our freedoms.