So it looks like this is the turning point in the way Americans viewed veterans and their place in our society. The way they talk about the American people’s reaction to returning veterans is much more positive than what veterans faced in previous wars we’ve studied. One thing that really stood out for me is when Gambone talks about society’s reaction to monetary benefits for veterans. He says their reaction was not ‘Why?’ but ‘How much?’ and I think that this is much more the reaction we see from people today. We really value our veterans and feel that we owe them a lot, which definitely was not the case earlier in our country’s history.
And this change came about because World War 2 was a popular war, and people supported it. They felt right and justified in having soldiers involved in the war and because they supported the war, this support later transferred to the people who had fought the war, because essentially they had done the ‘dirty work’ or the ‘hands on’ aspect of this national project. I think we could refer to the Vietnam period as a backslide (I believe that’s where we go next) in terms of the way veterans are treated, but I see in World War 2 the basis for modern day treatment of and attitude toward veterans.
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