Former President George W. Bush put the spotlight on veterans while speaking during the Bush's Institute's Empowering Our Nation's' Warriors summit on Wednesday.
Bush said veterans are the one percent of the population others should wholeheartedly support.
"They are the 1 percent of Americans that kept the 99 percent safe," Bush said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "We owe them and their families a deep debt of gratitude."
Bush weighed in on what veterans want after serving.
“What most veterans want is to have their service understood and appreciated for what it is: A formative experience in their lives and a source of skills and values that prepare them to succeed in civilian lives,” Bush said, according to ABC. “Our veterans have defended the American people and now they want to experience the American dream.”
Bush said it's "not surprising" it can be tough for veterans to find work after returning to civilian life.
"You don’t see many job postings that say ‘Wanted: Experience in hunting insurgents and terrorists. Willing to risk life for coworkers,’” Bush said. “What’s a veteran supposed to put down? ‘My last office was a Humvee?’”
Justin Constantine, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Marines and a Purple Heart recipient, also spoke at the summit, sharing his own experience about the "complicated transition" from military life to civilian life.
"Today's veterans don't need a handout, but a hand up," Constantine said. "Some of us are facing very tough obstacles right now, but we all want to be productive members of our society."