The Rabel McNutt Committee is leading the way in honoring the most illustrious generation of heroes as the United States celebrates its 80th anniversary of the Second World War. The group preserves oral histories and films from veterans and connects them with students to share their experiences.
The number of living WWII veterans is currently around 1.7 million. A recent Department of Veterans Affairs report estimates that only 300,000 of these veterans will still be alive by 2045. This is based on a projected death rate for one American veteran every two-and-a-half minutes.
Additionally the average age of these veterans is higher than it was in the war. Many of them are in their 70s or more. Thus, these women and men will need help in adjusting to civilian life. These WWII veterans may be eligible for a variety of VA benefits, including health care as well as vocational rehabilitation, education, and home loans.
D-Day June 6, 1944, was among the most important milestones in military history. More than 150,000 Allied troops landed on a 50-mile stretch of beach in Normandy, France, in the first step of a strategy to free Europe’s continental Europe.
Other important events include the Battle of the Bulge, the Bataan Death March, and the Philippine Commonwealth Army. All of these battles were fought by Filipino and American soldiers and thousands of Filipinos were killed. Some of the bloodiest battles of the war took place in the Philippines.
16 million Americans served in the Second World War. Another half million were killed or wounded. One of the most significant contributions of the period was the G.I. Bill which provided financial aid to veterans to go to colleges, buy a home and receive unemployment insurance. In June 1944 the president Franklin D. Roosevelt signed this program into law. It put higher education in the reach of millions of veterans.
Another important event was also the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act. It was enacted by Congress in spring 1944. The Act included funds to help with training, counseling, protective clothing books, and subsistence.
Another major event during the war was the initial attack on Iwo Jima, which was led by Marine Corps veteran Hershel “Woody” Williams. He was a hero, fighting fire from the enemy and destroying enemy bunkers using a flamethrower. He refused medical treatment even after sustaining injuries during the attack. He died at the age of 98.
The American Veterans Center (AVC) is which is a non-profit 501(3) organization is a repository of oral histories and hosts a variety civic and educational programs. Their website hosts a huge collection of documents and photos. They can also be searched through the ABMC Interactive system, which includes videos of major campaigns, iconic overseas cemeteries, and troop movements.