Bonus Expeditionary Force

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Guest Blog Posts, Military, Politics
Tags: , , , ,

I came across this story and thought I would share. I’m no history buff, and I’m sure there may be more surrounding this piece of history. I just thought this was interesting, and goes to show that there can be power in unity, even if the outcome isn’t always what we hoped to achieve. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this 🙂

Military Monday message: Thank you for tirelessly and unselfishly giving of yourself to preserve our freedoms… Freedoms such as this one that allow us to make our voices heard!

Soldier on!

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World War I Oathkeepers: The Veterans’ Bonus March

Posted by Merijoe A.

“This is never taught in school. It is one of those events that has been erased, I’m assuming because it’s very embarrassing to the Washington DC politicians. It needs to be addressed, just compare this with the events in the last year, the shut down of national monuments and parks, the tossing out of people from their homes within vicinity of a DC attraction, the lock down and detaining of bus loads of tourists in DC and the hundreds of veterans and others who took down barricades in front of the public, the humiliation of the soldiers by this administration, the disrespect of the American Constitution and the American people, NSA spying on American’s with the approval and continuing support by members of the government, the IRS with programs designed to hurt and control American’s without so much as a squeak from congress –

Not so very long ago, the American government turned on its own people, here’s the story:

A bill was passed in 1924 promising WWI veterans a payment 21 years later — dubbed a “bonus” — in 1945. When the Great Depression hit, veterans organized to demand early payment of the bonus. This was before food stamps and welfare-if you didn’t work, you didn’t eat. They organized a protest march on Washington in 1932, demanding pay for their combat, and approximately 20,000 veterans camped out in the Capitol following the march.

imageWWI army veteran, Walter Waters, led 300 hungry, homeless unemployed veterans from Oregon to Washington DC in the spring/summer of 1932 during the Great Depression to attempt to get the early payment of a bonus promised for their war service. A bonus that would not be payable until 1945 when government actuaries calculated the vast majority of the veterans would conveniently be dead and never collect.

These 300 during their journey would inspire veterans from all over America to come to the capitol to set-up military style camps and peacefully march and lobby for their bonus. An estimated 15,000 made their way to the nation’s capital and dubbed themselves the “Bonus Expeditionary Force.” Using scrap wood, iron and any other loose materials they could find, the veterans set up ramshackle camps throughout the city. The largest housed an estimated 10,000 people.

imageThey waited in vain for Congress to act. On June 17 the Senate voted against the House-passed bill that would have given the Bonus Marchers immediate payment of their benefit.

Weeks went by until Herbert Hoover ordered General Douglas MacArthur to force the vets out. Two veterans were shot and killed, thousands were tear gassed. As MacArthur along with Dwight Eisenhower burned down make shift camps of these vets and their families during the night, Hoover slept.

We do not live in a safe country. The only thing holding us together is the grace of God. Keep the faith because your trust really lies in God and not man, and buy a little extra water/food for yourself.”

 

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