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Failing Our VeteransThe G.I. Bill and the Vietnam Generation$
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Mark Boulton

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724873

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724873.001.0001

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The Clash of the Texans

The Clash of the Texans

The Making of the 1966 Cold War G.I. Bill

(p.53) 2 The Clash of the Texans
Failing Our Veterans

Mark Boulton

NYU Press

This chapter examines the political debates that accompanied the passage of the first of the Vietnam-era G.I. Bills, the Veterans' Readjustment Benefits Act of 1966. It considers the role of Senator Ralph W. Yarborough, a Texas Democrat, in pushing for a new G.I. Bill that would compensate all citizens called upon for military service and the opposition he faced from fellow Texan Democrat Olin Teague in the House. In particular, it explains how the Vietnam War helped Yarborough's cause, resulting in the Veterans' Readjustment Benefits Act that gave the same benefits to all Cold War veterans. It also discusses the arguments of President Lyndon B. Johnson regarding federal spending and his eventual signing of the bill into law. Finally, it reflects on the significance of the 1966 G.I. Bill with respect to veterans' benefits and to democratic citizenship more generally.

Keywords:   veterans' benefits, Veterans' Readjustment Benefits Act 1966, Ralph W. Yarborough, military service, Olin Teague, Vietnam War, war veterans, Lyndon B. Johnson, federal spending, democratic citizenship

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