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a “Bill of Rights for G.I. Joe and Jane”
July 13, 2014 10:31 PM   Subscribe

How the GI Bill Became Law in Spite of Some Veterans’ Groups
posted by the man of twists and turns (7 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Eponysterical, in context :)
posted by pjern at 10:44 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]


It seems like the actual problems were racists and representatives who had no faith in the quality of their own soldiers. It said the veterans groups who opposed it opposed it because they didn't want to see wounded vets get the short end of the stick which hardly seems like an unnecessary worry even now.

On March 24, the Senate passed the G.I. Bill unanimously, but the House continued to debate the unemployment and education provisions for another two months. Rankin, chair of the House veterans committee, had evolved into one of its sharpest critics. An unrepentant segregationist, he worried that African-American veterans would use the benefits to avoid work and live off the government. Rankin also didn’t see the need to give African Americans the same benefits as whites.
posted by bleep at 11:14 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Let me note that the GI Bill as first enacted and applied to WW2 and (to a lesser extent) Korean War veterans, was replaced by a much weaker one by the time Vietnam was fought. In 1971, the total of my GI Bill education benefits was that I got a $175/month living allowance if I kept my grades up. No tuition, no books. It's been changed since then, but it's still a pale shadow of what WW2 vets got.

In Re: veteran's groups, I recall that the one of the major veteran's clubs (VFW or Amvets) was not welcoming to returning Vietnam vets, and its president made some very disparaging remarks about them. That attitude dissipated as its older membership aged and died.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:10 AM on July 14


Every generation's warriors grow up to forget what a motley crew of assholes they were when they got out of Basic. Same thing will be happening in 2050.
posted by Etrigan at 4:36 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


An unrepentant segregationist, he worried that African-American veterans would use the benefits to avoid work and live off the government.

Plus ça change...
posted by dirigibleman at 6:43 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Aw man, I've never been prouder of the Legion. "We didn’t organize the American Legion to be a savings bank to finance a last man’s club. The best way to use every dime in our treasury is in assistance to the veterans coming out of this war,”
posted by corb at 8:27 AM on July 14


I think that headline, "How the GI Bill Became Law in Spite of Some Veterans’ Groups," is completely and deliberately misleading; opposition by other veterans groups was ineffectual, and the real opposition-- as bleep notes-- came from obstructionist members of the House (sound familiar?) who used every available dirty trick to try to stop the bill.

But what else could you expect when the editor of your publication is conservative hack David Skinner, former major contributor to The Weekly Standard and former editor of The Public Interest?
The Public Interest (1965-2005) was a quarterly public policy journal founded by the New York intellectuals Daniel Bell and Irving Kristol in 1965.[1][2] It was a leading neoconservative journal on political economy and culture, ...
posted by jamjam at 8:42 AM on July 14 [6 favorites]


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