The “52-20″ Club Helped Veterans

By Joseph Altman b. 1935

When most of us who were there at the time think about the end of the war we think about the parades and celebrations, but the readjustments were difficult – for both the servicemen and their families.  We had four boys in our town who had what we called shell shock.  They stayed to themselves mostly, but It was awful to see them on the street.

But lots of other boys who came home found it hard to get back into civilian life.   My uncle James had troubles adapting.  He tried some work but just needed more time to settle in.  One day he told me he was joining the” 52-20 Club.”  It was a program that gave men like him $20 a week for 52 weeks, or until they got a job,  to help them.  He joked about it, but he was a little embarrassed I could tell.   He got a job in a short time.

We don’t often talk about these kinds of things that happened after the war.  There were lots of problems. 

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