Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Fighting The Peace At Home: Mexican American Veterans and the 1944 GI Bill Of Rights




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



The Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944 has become the focus of increased scrutiny. Many of the bill's limitations vis-à-vis race, gender, and sexuality have been explored by an increasing array of scholars. I contribute to this ongoing debate through an examination of the post-war 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, including difficulties common to all three, to better illustrate how public policy influenced that identity. Moreover, I challenge conclusions that adopt an either/or binary by illustrating how this matrix between military service, the GI Bill, and citizenship influenced post-war civic engagement and varying degrees of socioeconomic advancement for Mexican American veterans.

Conference Name

38th Annual Meeting of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies

Conference Location

Pasadena, CA

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