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by BEFTU SULTAN - Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 11:24 PM

Politicians became more experienced with what to do with veterans after a war during the period of WWII much better than after WWI. During the period after WWI, there were no significant legislations that focused on veterans who fought away from the homeland. Considering the Bonus Army during the Hoover Administration, during WWII, a significant legislation called the G.I Bill was passed that focused on the well being of soldiers for when they were discharged as they had financial benefits awaiting them. Providing veterans with a potentially successful assistance program at the time meant the government would avoid a similar political failure as the Bonus Army in which veterans demanded pay.

It is important to note that F.D.R made an effort to expand the bill to include more than just veterans but also poor people. The bill was somewhat like a way to persuade poor people to enlist into the war and fight otherwise it would be very difficult to claim the financial benefits the bill provided. The benefits that included loans to get a house, and an education were undoubtedly very difficult for poor people to accomplish without financial assistance. Giving priority to veterans pressured those who were not fighting to enlist and fight.

Unfortunately, a select group of veterans were given access to these benefits. Race, sex, and position as a soldier highly influenced the decisions of who the benefits were going to be given to. As African Americans historically have struggled to find a place in society, it was not any more difficult to get equal access to the financial benefits that the G.I Bill provided. Also veterans who were on a blue discharge were turned away benefits such as being accepted to universities or jobs because of the fear that their homosexual tendencies that occurred during the time they spent away from home represented mental or psychiatric problems. While F.D.R tried to extend the bills benefits to include not only veterans but also poor people, veteran organizations successfully fought to keep the bill focused on soldiers believing that they were to be prioritized over non-veterans. This only emphasized the importance of status that legislators considered when deciding who to include that deserved the benefits. 

The impact of the G.I Bill should not be as great as it is considered as by most historians. It should be the great impact it is considered to be as if veterans of all kind in the U.S had equal access to the benefits. The impact of the G.I Bill overall was not as great as it was towards those who were able to take advantage of the benefits. The legislation also made the lives more difficult for those who were turned away, especially on a blue discharge because there was the sense of exclusion from society and the troubles of returning the position they were in in society before entering war. The sense of exclusive that legislators worked into the bill should undermine how great the bill was in terms of helping veterans in general.