Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Veterans Day and the G.I. Bill
Above: The back of this postage stamp reads, "...the G.I. Bill helped approximately 2.25 million war veterans attend college. Millions of other GIs received job training; home, business, and farm loans; and unemployment benefits." Image from personal collection.
Above: Many women served during World War II, both in the armed forces and the national defense industries. Image from personal collection.
Above: President Roosevelt signs the G.I. Bill on June 22, 1944. When he signed it, Roosevelt reiterated a point he had made during an earlier speech: "What our servicemen and women want, more than anything else, is the assurance of satisfactory employment upon their return to civil life. The first task after the war is to provide employment for them..." After the war, the policies & infrastructure that had been created by FDR and his colleagues--such as the G.I. Bill--helped the economy expand, the middle-class prosper, and the unemployment rate to remain consistently low. In recent years, with unemployment and suicide disproportionately affecting younger veterans and their families, we have to ask ourselves: Are we maintaining (and strengthening) the commitment to our veterans that FDR and Congress started during World War II? Or, are we allowing many veterans to struggle needlessly, in compliance to those who constantly push for government shutdowns, a reduction in social assistance programs, and tax cuts for the wealthy? Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.