Government Programs & Training After Discharge - 1919
There's Your Opportunity Boy!! Doesn't That Prove I'm Not Leaving You Out in the Cold? Federal Board for Vocational Educaton: Choice of Over Four Hundred Trades -- $65 a Month Support While in Training. Incident Expenses in Course of Training Paid by Federal Board. $30 for Wife., $10 For Each Child up to Three. Jobs Furnished on Completion of Course. Drawing by Walter Wilhelm. Reprint from "The Bayonet," Camp Lee, Virginia. GGA Image ID # 1973903e86
Your friends are legion. They are represented in innumerable agencies and forces, federal, civil, commercial, social, private, devoted to your interests, and to the project of getting you out of the O. D., the Blue, or the Greens, and placed in civil life comfortably and successfully. You have only to ask to receive.
You will find that the War Department, the Department of Labor, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Federal Board for Vocational Education, not to mention other branches of the Government, are working zealously in behalf of your future.
As for civic and private agencies, it may be said that they are innumerable. For instance, there is the Red Cross, with an incomparable organization of service and information.
Its Home Service Section says to you:
"If, when you get home, you are troubled because a member of your family is not in good health, because business difficulties have arisen while you were away, because you lacked competent advice about the education of your children, or because you feel that you have developed so that you can fill a more responsible job than your old one, consult the Home Service Section of the Red Cross. Its advice and its experience in helping other soldiers and their families may be of assistance to you.
'You have been willing to fight for high ideals on the battlefield, and we know that you can be depended upon to fight for equally high ideals in your home town. In the Army you have set an example to the country of courage and good citizenship, and the country will look to you to set the same example when you get back in civil life. We know that you want to continue to 'play the game.'
We, on our part, want to continue to serve you and your family until you are once more settled in civil life, with the same spirit in which we were ready to serve both them and you while you were under arms."
This is the spirit that is abroad throughout the land. It is the spirit of the Council of National Defense, the U. S. Employment Service, the War Camp Community Service, the American Federation of Labor, the Red Cross, the YMCA, the Knights of Columbus, the YWCA, the National Catholic War Council, the Jewish Welfare Board, the Salvation Army, the American Library Association, the Chamber of Commerce of the U. S., the chambers of commerce and boards of trade of all States and cities, all churches and fraternal orders.
If You Get Sick
Any soldier, sailor or marine honorably discharged since October 6, 1917, for disability incurred in active service in line of duty, and who later becomes sick or requires hospital treatment as a direct and traceable result of that disability, is entitled to be treated at a military hospital if there is room, or otherwise, at a local civilian hospital at Government expense.
In such cases get in touch with the nearest representative of the United States Public Health Service, by telegraph if urgent, or telegraph the Chief Medical Adviser, the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, Washington, D. C.
It's the Government's obligation to provide artificial and surgical appliances free of cost. Those officers and men whose misfortune makes it necessary to take advantage of this obligation should be most particular in getting legs and arms and appliances which fit. A man's a loser if he lets himself be bluffed about this.
It's the duty of the Surgeon General's Office and The Bureau of War Risk Insurance to see that every man gets a square deal.
Vocational training means training in a profession as well as in a trade.
All vocational training is carried on under the direction of the Federal Board for Vocational Education, created by an Act of Congress, to provide for the vocational rehabilitation and return to civil employment of disabled persons discharged from the military or naval forces of the United States, and for other purposes.
This Board is in close co-operation with the Surgeon General's Office and The Bureau of War Risk Insurance.
When the time comes that the disabled man in the hospital begins to ask himself, "Where do we go from here?" he should find a field representative of the Federal Board camping on his trail to tell him all about the opportunities for training him to make as much as or more than he did before being called to the colors.
But no matter what happens, don't leave the hospital without having an understanding with the Federal Board representative. Camp on his trail, if necessary. Insist upon getting Form 526 while you are in the hospital.
Get it out of your head, if you have it there, and out of anybody else's with whom you talk, that there is any charity in all this. Nothing of the kind.
A disabled soldier, sailor or marine taking vocational training will receive, if single, $65 a month; if married and living with his wife, $75; if married and separated during training, $65 a month, and his wife $30 a month. While undergoing training a man receives either compensation or pay at the rate of pay for the last month of his service, whichever is greater.
A great many disabled discharged men have missed the splendid benefits of vocational training because of the prevalence of one or two false impressions.
First: that in accepting vocational training they would forfeit their compensation; and secondly: that they would have to re-enlist in either the Army or the Navy to be eligible to receive this training. Neither of these fears has the slightest foundation.
It may be possible for a man to undergo his training within a few miles of his home, but if no suitable places exist in his neighborhood the Government will provide education at the nearest suitable place.
Not every disabled soldier or sailor is entitled to vocational training. Only those entitled to compensation as indicated under the subject head "Compensation" are eligible.
Even in this class, retraining must, in the opinion of the Federal Board, be feasible and necessary. But as a result of an appropriation by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks to the Federal Board, men who are not entitled to compensation can in the discretion of the Board be given training.
All disabled soldiers, sailors and marines, whether in or out of the hospital, should address communications either to The Federal Board for Vocational Education, 200 New Jersey Avenue, N. W., Washington, D. C., or to the District Office of the Federal Board of the district in which he is located. The District Offices of the Board are located as follows: (This section omitted)
William Brown Meloney, "Where Do We Go From Here? - This Is the Real Dope: Government Programs & Training After Discharge," Baltimore: Thomsen-Ellis Press, 1920.