By posting this notice that appeared in a 1944 issue of YANK, we had hoped to play a useful roll by bringing to an end some of the bar room arguments and late-night dorm bickerings that came about as a result of the unlikely story line that was presented in the movie, Saving Private Ryan (Paramount Pictures, 1998).
When the YANK staff writers asked the G.I.s to "name the greater menace to our country and our values" -most of the servicemen polled seemed to agree that the real enemies were from Japan; while Germany, it was believed by most, simply had to be brought back into the fold.
Another article contrasting the Germans and Japanese can be read here...
Although the press questioned U.S. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson (1867 - 1950) as to why the Selective Service Department had been ordered to call-up an additional 100,000 men when it was agreed that the U.S. military was already "over strengthened" with the full participation of 7,700,000 personnel currently under arms, Stimson made it clear in this notice from the Far East Edition of YANK, that he had his reasons - and this article lists a number of them.
Click here to read about a W.W. II draft board.
The World War II pay raise that was granted to U.S. Army combat infantrymen in the summer of 1944 did not extend to the front-line medic for reasons involving the Geneva Convention Rules of War. This triggered a number of infantrymen to write kind words regarding the medics while at the same time condemning the Geneva restrictions:
"...I've seen the medics in action and I take my hat off to them. Most of them have more guts then us guys with the rifles...I've seen them dash into cross-fire that would cut a man to ribbons to help a guy who was in bad shape. I say give them all the credit they deserve."
"So they've given up."
"They're finally done in, and the rat is dead in an alley back of the of the Wilhelmstrasse."
"Take a Bow, GI - take a bow, little guy."
"Far-flung ordinary men, unspectacular but free, rousing out of their habits and their homes - got up early one morning, flexed their muscles, learned the manual of arms (as amateurs) and set out across perilous oceans to whop the bejeepers out of the professionals."
"And they did."
This tiny notice reported that the G.I. Bill of Rights was passed Congress, was now enacted into law. A list of all the original (1944) veteran's benefits are listed for a quick read.The readers of YANK were the intended beneficiaries of this legislation and it seems terribly ironic that this news item was granted such a minute space in the magazine.
No matter how you slice it, few acts of Congress have left such a beneficial mark across the American landscape as this one.