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Veterans' Policies, Veterans' PoliticsNew Perspectives on Veterans in the Modern United States$
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Stephen R. Ortiz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813042077

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813042077.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 16 October 2021

A Price on Patriotism

A Price on Patriotism

The Politics and Unintended Consequences of the 1966 G.I. Bill

Chapter:
(p.241) 10 A Price on Patriotism
Source:
Veterans' Policies, Veterans' Politics
Author(s):

Mark Boulton

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813042077.003.0011

This chapter explores the political debates surrounding the passage of the 1966 Cold War G.I. Bill, the first G.I. bill of the Vietnam era. Unlike the earlier World War II and Korean Conflict wartime G.I. bills, the 1966 bill covered all noncombat Cold War veterans and, therefore, proved to be far less generous. Politicians from Great Society liberals to fiscal conservatives deemed that these later veterans had not earned the right to more substantial benefits because they had not faced fire directly. The bill made no distinction between veterans serving in peacetime conditions and Vietnam combat veterans. Consequently, Vietnam veterans were left with a G.I. bill significantly less generous than the one awarded to their predecessors. This chapter reveals how the 1966 bill fell prey to the nuances of both the liberal and conservative economic philosophies of the mid-twentieth century and left a legacy of bitterness among Vietnam veterans.

Keywords:   1966 G.I. Bill, Vietnam veterans, Vietnam era, Cold War veterans’ benefits, Great Society, fiscal conservatism

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