Former President George W. Bush said Tuesday that the mothers of troops he sent to war helped him make one of the most important decisions of his presidency.
Bush said he was strengthened and emboldened by the mothers of fallen soldiers that he met. He said he remembered meeting NBCDFW assignment editor Cynthia Garcia at a reception at his home for mothers who lost a son or daughter while serving in the Armed Forces.
Garcia's son, Cpl. J. Adan "Adam" Garcia, died in 2006 in Iraq.
"When it came time to think about exiting Iraq before the job was done, I thought about Cynthia -- or people like Cynthia -- and said I was not going to leave their loved ones on the battlefield and let them die in vain," Bush said.
He said voices of the mothers he had met echoed in his head and helped him decide to add more troops in Iraq, despite what critics, polls and other politicians were saying. Bush said the move led to a changed dynamic in Iraq and hopes that a free society there will help ease the grief of families who have lost loved ones.
The former president also talked about his policy institute, the role women will play in it and what will be in his presidential library.
Bush also discussed his post-presidential routine, from bringing his wife coffee in the morning to exercising to going to the office.
Bush, a former Texas Rangers owner, also talked about the excitement of the team's first World Series appearance.
He was joined Tuesday by his wife and former advisers for the groundbreaking of his presidential center at Southern Methodist University.
NBCDFW's Jane McGarry contributed to this report.