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Remarks Following a Briefing by the President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors

July 25, 2007

I want to thank Secretary Shalala and Senator Dole for briefing myself and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of Defense on the general recommendations they'll be making to the country about how to make sure that our wounded heroes get the best possible care from the Defense Department and the Veterans Affairs Department.

I asked these two distinguished citizens to lead an extensive search about how best for this Government to respond. We owe a wounded soldier the very best care and the very best benefits and the very easiest-to-understand system. And so they took a very interesting approach, and that they took the perspective from the patient, as the patient had to work his way through the hospitals and bureaucracies. And they've come up with some very interesting and important suggestions that they'll be voting on later and then will be holding a press conference about afterwards.

The reason I've asked you to come in is, I do want to thank you on behalf of the Nation for doing what's right.

I also want to recognize Bob Woodruff here. He is a—he himself was wounded, severely wounded and went through the system, to a certain extent. And we welcome you back, and we're glad you're with us. And we would hope that any wounded soldier, any person in uniform would receive the kind of care and the ability to return to work, just like you have done. And so we're glad you're with us, Bob. Congratulations on the will to recover.

That will exists with our troops as well. It's amazing how courageous our men and women in uniform are, and they deserve the best. And that's the spirit in which you analyzed the system. And we welcome your recommendations, and we thank you for your service.

Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:34 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala and former Sen. Robert J. Dole, Cochairs, President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors; Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates; and ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff, who was injured in Iraq on January 29, 2006. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of these remarks.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following a Briefing by the President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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