boots-to-books

From Boots to Books

The longest war in American history is drawing to a close. Now, the men and women who served are coming home, and many hope to use higher education to build new, better lives. They have help from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a piece of legislation that many advocates say offers more support to returning veterans than any policy since the original GI Bill of 1944. In this documentary, we explore how the first GI Bill revolutionized the lives of millions of young veterans, America’s institutions of higher education, and American society at large. But America’s economic and academic systems have changed, and veterans today are returning to a very different reality than their predecessors.

Recent Posts

  • 09.03.15

    The history of the GI Bill

    A staggering 16 million soldiers returned home from World War II, and millions of them went to school. Because GI Bill benefits were generous enough to pay for any college in the country, veterans flooded all types of institutions, from elite schools like Harvard to large state schools, to vocational schools. By 1947, half of all college students in America were veterans.
  • 09.03.15

    The front lines of the long journey home

    Colleges and universities have become the front lines of one of the great challenges posed by war: how to reintegrate the people who've served.
  • 09.03.15

    The GI Bill: One of the last great economic ladders?

    The Post-9/11 GI Bill was supposed to change where veterans could go to college by giving them more money, and, therefore, more options. But since the new bill went into effect in 2009, the percentage of veterans enrolling at four-year public and private nonprofit schools has barely budged.
  • 08.27.15

    A different approach to teacher learning: Lesson study

    In the United States, we tend to think that improving education is about improving teachers - recruiting better ones, firing bad ones. But the Japanese think about improving teaching. It's a very different idea.

American RadioWorks |
boots-to-books

From Boots to Books

The longest war in American history is drawing to a close. Now, the men and women who served are coming home, and many hope to use higher education to build new, better lives. They have help from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a piece of legislation that many advocates say offers more support to returning veterans than any policy since the original GI Bill of 1944. In this documentary, we explore how the first GI Bill revolutionized the lives of millions of young veterans, America’s institutions of higher education, and American society at large. But America’s economic and academic systems have changed, and veterans today are returning to a very different reality than their predecessors.

Recent Posts

  • 09.03.15

    The history of the GI Bill

    A staggering 16 million soldiers returned home from World War II, and millions of them went to school. Because GI Bill benefits were generous enough to pay for any college in the country, veterans flooded all types of institutions, from elite schools like Harvard to large state schools, to vocational schools. By 1947, half of all college students in America were veterans.
  • 09.03.15

    The front lines of the long journey home

    Colleges and universities have become the front lines of one of the great challenges posed by war: how to reintegrate the people who've served.
  • 09.03.15

    The GI Bill: One of the last great economic ladders?

    The Post-9/11 GI Bill was supposed to change where veterans could go to college by giving them more money, and, therefore, more options. But since the new bill went into effect in 2009, the percentage of veterans enrolling at four-year public and private nonprofit schools has barely budged.
  • 08.27.15

    A different approach to teacher learning: Lesson study

    In the United States, we tend to think that improving education is about improving teachers - recruiting better ones, firing bad ones. But the Japanese think about improving teaching. It's a very different idea.

American RadioWorks |
boots-to-books

From Boots to Books

The longest war in American history is drawing to a close. Now, the men and women who served are coming home, and many hope to use higher education to build new, better lives. They have help from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a piece of legislation that many advocates say offers more support to returning veterans than any policy since the original GI Bill of 1944. In this documentary, we explore how the first GI Bill revolutionized the lives of millions of young veterans, America’s institutions of higher education, and American society at large. But America’s economic and academic systems have changed, and veterans today are returning to a very different reality than their predecessors.

Recent Posts

  • 09.03.15

    The history of the GI Bill

    A staggering 16 million soldiers returned home from World War II, and millions of them went to school. Because GI Bill benefits were generous enough to pay for any college in the country, veterans flooded all types of institutions, from elite schools like Harvard to large state schools, to vocational schools. By 1947, half of all college students in America were veterans.
  • 09.03.15

    The front lines of the long journey home

    Colleges and universities have become the front lines of one of the great challenges posed by war: how to reintegrate the people who've served.
  • 09.03.15

    The GI Bill: One of the last great economic ladders?

    The Post-9/11 GI Bill was supposed to change where veterans could go to college by giving them more money, and, therefore, more options. But since the new bill went into effect in 2009, the percentage of veterans enrolling at four-year public and private nonprofit schools has barely budged.
  • 08.27.15

    A different approach to teacher learning: Lesson study

    In the United States, we tend to think that improving education is about improving teachers - recruiting better ones, firing bad ones. But the Japanese think about improving teaching. It's a very different idea.

American RadioWorks |
boots-to-books

From Boots to Books

The longest war in American history is drawing to a close. Now, the men and women who served are coming home, and many hope to use higher education to build new, better lives. They have help from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a piece of legislation that many advocates say offers more support to returning veterans than any policy since the original GI Bill of 1944. In this documentary, we explore how the first GI Bill revolutionized the lives of millions of young veterans, America’s institutions of higher education, and American society at large. But America’s economic and academic systems have changed, and veterans today are returning to a very different reality than their predecessors.

Recent Posts

  • 09.03.15

    The history of the GI Bill

    A staggering 16 million soldiers returned home from World War II, and millions of them went to school. Because GI Bill benefits were generous enough to pay for any college in the country, veterans flooded all types of institutions, from elite schools like Harvard to large state schools, to vocational schools. By 1947, half of all college students in America were veterans.
  • 09.03.15

    The front lines of the long journey home

    Colleges and universities have become the front lines of one of the great challenges posed by war: how to reintegrate the people who've served.
  • 09.03.15

    The GI Bill: One of the last great economic ladders?

    The Post-9/11 GI Bill was supposed to change where veterans could go to college by giving them more money, and, therefore, more options. But since the new bill went into effect in 2009, the percentage of veterans enrolling at four-year public and private nonprofit schools has barely budged.
  • 08.27.15

    A different approach to teacher learning: Lesson study

    In the United States, we tend to think that improving education is about improving teachers - recruiting better ones, firing bad ones. But the Japanese think about improving teaching. It's a very different idea.

Home | Oral History Archive | Reporter's Notebook
ORAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

All of the veterans we interviewed had amazing stories --about comraderie, warfare, pain, and sacrifice . We've arranged some of their most thought-provoking stories into a series of Editors' Picks--each on a different subject like combat, POW experiences, integration, conditions in Korea and homecoming. These will rotate each week, so stop back for future picks.

This week the focus is on
Homecoming Stories.


The Korean War was a staggeringly bloody war, killing almost 37,000 Americans and two million or more Koreans and Chinese. Hear Korean War veterans describe fighting hill by hill against a determined enemy.


Korean veterans often compare their homecoming to what World War II veterans received less than a decade before. Reamer Bell of Cincinnati, Ohio describes the contrast.
Listen (:35) or Read

Oscar Cortez of San Antonio, Texas was taken prisoner by the Koreans in February of 1951. He finally got the homecoming he was looking for many years later.
Listen (1:12) or Read

Shorty Estabrook oof Marianna, California was in a POW camp with his buddies when a long line of trucks went through and he learned the war was over and he would finally go home. But that wasn't the end of his troubles.
Listen (3:04) or Read

During the "Red Scare" --the anti-communist fervor that gripped America during the 1950's-- veterans who had been captured by communists during the Korean War were under suspicion of being collaborators. Shorty Estabrook remembers being interrogated by the FBI upon his return home.
Listen (2:03) or Read

Jack Goodwin of Waco, Texas describes the long recovery from the psychological trauma of being a prisoner of war.
Listen (1:07) or Read

When the Korean War started, it was considered a police action, not a war. For many years, it was only referred to as a conflict, not a war. Veteran John Jackson of Houston, Texas...
Listen (1:35) or Read

Previous week's topics:
Combat Stories
Race

SEARCH ALL INTERVIEWS
You can also search the archive yourself. Fill in one field --or more than one to narrow your search.

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image credits: left and center - National Archives and Records Administration; right - Department of Defense
American RadioWorks |
boots-to-books

From Boots to Books

The longest war in American history is drawing to a close. Now, the men and women who served are coming home, and many hope to use higher education to build new, better lives. They have help from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a piece of legislation that many advocates say offers more support to returning veterans than any policy since the original GI Bill of 1944. In this documentary, we explore how the first GI Bill revolutionized the lives of millions of young veterans, America’s institutions of higher education, and American society at large. But America’s economic and academic systems have changed, and veterans today are returning to a very different reality than their predecessors.

Recent Posts

  • 09.03.15

    The history of the GI Bill

    A staggering 16 million soldiers returned home from World War II, and millions of them went to school. Because GI Bill benefits were generous enough to pay for any college in the country, veterans flooded all types of institutions, from elite schools like Harvard to large state schools, to vocational schools. By 1947, half of all college students in America were veterans.
  • 09.03.15

    The front lines of the long journey home

    Colleges and universities have become the front lines of one of the great challenges posed by war: how to reintegrate the people who've served.
  • 09.03.15

    The GI Bill: One of the last great economic ladders?

    The Post-9/11 GI Bill was supposed to change where veterans could go to college by giving them more money, and, therefore, more options. But since the new bill went into effect in 2009, the percentage of veterans enrolling at four-year public and private nonprofit schools has barely budged.
  • 08.27.15

    A different approach to teacher learning: Lesson study

    In the United States, we tend to think that improving education is about improving teachers - recruiting better ones, firing bad ones. But the Japanese think about improving teaching. It's a very different idea.