War Veterans in Civil Life

July 17, 1946

Report Outline
Return of war Veterans to Civilian Life
Employment Problems of War Veterans
War Veterans and the Housing Shortage
Education for the Returning Serviceman

Return of war Veterans to Civilian Life

Present and Future Size of Veteran Population

War veterans comprise a substantial segment of the nation's adult population for the first time in American history. The veteran population was 16,492,000 on June 1, and the Veterans Administration estimates that the overall figure will reach 20 million by July, 1947. Veterans of World War II numbered 12,516,000 on June 1, or roughly one-tenth of the whole population and one-fifth of the labor force. Members of this group made up between one-fourth and one-third of the adult persons who “will be running the country, doing its business, paying its bills for the next quarter of a century.”

The rapidity with which the armed forces have been demobilized has magnified the problems of readjustment for many World War II veterans. Of approximately 15,500,000 men and women who served in the armed forces before May, 1946, only 3,000,000 (19 per cent) left the service prior to V-J Day, while 8,800,000 (57 per cent) were released between Sept. 2, 1945, and May 1, 1946. Approximately 3,700,000 (24 per cent) were still in service on the latter date.

Problem of Veteran Vs. Civilian Readjustment

There is widespread recognition by government, business, and labor groups that satisfactory readjustment of the veteran to civilian life must be accomplished. The danger in any large number of uprooted, footloose, and discontented war veterans is apparent. There is equal recognition of the danger inherent in satisfying the needs of veterans to the disadvantage of civilians, thus risking the possibility of splitting the population into two hostile groups.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S. Military
Oct. 04, 2019  Veterans' Struggles
Sep. 23, 2011  Military Suicides
Sep. 05, 2008  Rise in Counterinsurgency
Aug. 31, 2007  Wounded Veterans
Nov. 19, 2004  Treatment of Veterans
Jun. 25, 2004  Privatizing the Military
May 30, 2003  Reforming the Corps
Apr. 26, 1996  New Military Culture
Jun. 08, 1990  Downsizing America's Armed Forces
Jul. 20, 1966  American Forces in Europe
Jan. 15, 1964  American Troops Abroad
May 21, 1958  Military Reorganization
Feb. 28, 1952  Benefits for Korean Veterans
May 12, 1948  Militarization
Nov. 06, 1946  Veterans' Bonus
Jul. 17, 1946  War Veterans in Civil Life
Nov. 27, 1941  Government Aid to Ex-Service Men
Sep. 27, 1932  The Bonus After the 1932 Elections
Oct. 06, 1930  Veteran-Aid Policies of the United States
Jan. 07, 1924  Congress and the Bonus
Veterans' Services