History Moment By William “Doc” Halliday

Bonus Expeditionary Force

bonusWhen I returned home after serving time in the United States Army, I was offered benefits through the G. I. Bill (of Rights). The original legislation was passed in 1944 for veterans of World War Two. Later legislation extended the benefits to all who had served in the armed forces. Through the Veterans Administration (VA), the bill provides grants for school and college tuition, low down-payment mortgages and small-business loans, as well as hiring privileges, job training and unemployment payments. Later amendments provide for disability coverage and the construction of Veterans Administration hospitals. I have taken advantage of several benefits, including treatment at various VA hospitals. In fact, it was the VA Medical Center of Eastern Colorado (Denver) that cured me of Hepatitis C. Three previous chemo treatments by civilian medical facilities had been unsuccessful.

The automobile was not invented in one step. Before the automobile, there were wagons. Before wagons there were carts, and before carts, people pulled items over logs. Similarly, the G. I. Bill did not have its beginnings in World War Two. The story should at least begin with the First World War, but had its beginnings centuries earlier.

The practice of war-time military bonuses can be traced back to…

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