Although the former president shies away from interviews, he told CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" that he wants to remain connected to the veteran community.
"It's important to me because I want to stay connected to the veteran community. I'm not going to be a very public person. This is a rare interview for me … and therefore I'm worried the vets will think I don't care about them, and this is a way to say, not only do I respect them, but I love them and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life," said Bush in an interview posted online Thursday.
Members of the armed forces wounded in Iraq of Afghanistan joined Bush for the Warrior 100K mountain bike ride in Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas last week, where, according to the CNN producer, Bush was "no wuss" when it came to the ride.
"You would’ve thought it was a community ride had you wandered by past the Secret Service. No big handlers guiding every shot — just the president and slow-cooked ribs," wrote CNN's Julie Zann about the event.
Bush said the ride was an opportunity to honor wounded veterans and thank their families and their caretakers.