This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

GIs returning home from WWII

I spoke to a good friend of mine recently who told me that he was under the impression that the soldiers returning home here to the USA from World War II were treated poorly. Nothing could be further from the truth. They were welcomed home as heroes, as they deserved to be.

That is not to say that there weren't many whose sufferings during wartime made it impossible for them to return to normal lives. In addition to physical disabilities, such as missing arms and legs, many men suffered from the psychological pain of seeing the horrors of war, and that is still true today. And society's ability and willingness to deal with persons with disabilities has greatly improved since the 1940s, and still has a long way to go.

But overall, GIs returning home from WWII were welcomed back. It's hard to imagine, but for years the USA had been populated by women, children, elderly men, and men who were 4-F (didn't qualify for military service). If you want to know how terrible it was to be rated 4-F for men during WWII, watch the movie *Captain America*. Yes, that's exactly how it was. Well, except for the red-white-and-blue tights.

After August 1945, the day that WWII ended, the United States put out the biggest *welcome mat* that you could imagine for the returning soldiers. There had never been anything like it before and will probably never be anything like it again. Women stepped aside from the jobs that they had been doing during the war. The United States government underwrote education, and home ownership for GIs. There were still many people who remembered the shameful way that veterans of WWI had been treated. It wasn't going to be like that again.

The 1950s in the US was a golden era, and it started in 1945. No, it wasn't perfect, but it's as close as this country has ever gotten to it.
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