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Remarks by President Bush, Senator Bob Dole and Secretary Donna Shalala on Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors Report Implementation
Date:10/16/2007

re well-intended, but we're dealing with a new generation, and they're seated right over in this group. There are five -- well, there is Sarah, who takes care of her husband, Sarah Wade and her husband, and four other young men over there are amputees. And it's this generation. I mean, it's a different generation than my generation, than the Vietnam generation. And the treatments are different.

And the survival rates in World War II, for every one killed, maybe one would survive. Now the ratio is one to, I think, 18. I mean, it's a big, big difference because of the great medical care received the moment you're wounded on the battlefield until you arrive at Walter Reed or Brooke Hospital in Texas, or wherever it may be.

This is -- maybe the benefits are going to be a little better for this group. We never talked about cost. We never talked about politics. I knew Secretary Shalala's; she knew mine; we didn't know anybody else's. That wasn't important. We never talked about cost. I remember the President telling us in the Oval Office -- he just said three words: Whatever it takes. And so we set about to do whatever we thought it would take. And we believe we've done a good job.

We've had experts in electronic transfer information, with Dr. Martin Harris, who is a specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. We've had a lot of great assistance from staff, from outstanding staff that we were able to assemble, and from cooperation from the DOD and the VA. So I've been around long enough to know that nothing is perfect. And we didn't have -- some people say, you should have done the whole system. Well, our charter was limited to Iraq and Afghanistan. And we didn't have time to do the whole system. We had about four months. And we finished our work on July 31 of this year.

So we're here today to thank the President, to thank these young men and women who are serving their country. Whatever your views may be on the war, we have one common view, on taking
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SOURCE White House Press Office
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