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Fighting the Peace at Home: Mexican American Veterans and the 1944 GI Bill of Rights

Steven Rosales
Pacific Historical Review
Vol. 80, No. 4 (November 2011), pp. 597-627
DOI: 10.1525/phr.2011.80.4.597
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/phr.2011.80.4.597
Page Count: 31
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Fighting the Peace at Home: Mexican American Veterans and the 1944 GI Bill of Rights
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Abstract

The Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944 has become the focus of increased scrutiny. Many of the bill's limitations in terms of race, gender, and sexuality have recently been explored. This article examines the postwar construction of veteran identity by Mexican American veterans and the GI Bill's ultimate impact on that process. I place particular emphasis on economic mobility, political activism, and the psychiatric and medical services provided by the Veterans Administration to illustrate how public policy influenced that emerging identity. Moreover, I challenge conclusions that adopt an either/or binary by illustrating how the matrix of military service, the GI Bill, and citizenship influenced postwar civic engagement and varying degrees of socioeconomic advancement for Mexican American veterans.

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