During the Second World War, most Americans were enlisted in the war effort, whether they wore uniforms or not. During that war, soldiers wrote letters on some of their experiences at home and oversee (Brinkley 187). The letters suggested long term consequences of their experiences. At the time of war, industries hired women to fill jobs in building ships, airplane, tanks, military equipment, and weapons. Popularly known as Rosies' the Riveter, the women made a significant contribution to the war efforts. The experiences of Rosie the Riveter were as life-changing and comparable to the concerns of soldiers about the home front.
For most armed forces members, the other important aspect of their life after the food was mail. Most soldiers wrote letters due to a fear of loss and a need to communicate with their families during the times of separation. David Mark Olds writes to his family saying, "for one thing, almost everyone is concerned about getting his skin back to the States and at home, regardless of what he leaves here and in what condition it is" (Brinkley 202). The emphasis on letter writing was placed by the uncertainty of war and the dangers they encountered.
To ensure devotion and support, soldiers expressed emotions and feelings regularly; for instance in James's letter, he says, "the humans who are long dead yet physically alive with their stick-like limbs and vacant faces are so terrible a blasphemy on civilization, and yet the German civilians nearby pretend not to realize them, they don't seem to see any wrong" (Brinkley 203). They wrote to their families about the most basic activities, and through these letters, the armed forces remained connected to their communities. Allen Spach writes a Letter to his dad saying, "each one of us received letters from our commanding officers saying good luck, God bless you and to hell with the Japs" (Brinkley 199). The letters captured a reflection of childhood experiences and exchanges about everything, and some used pejorative language that included a description of the German and the Japanese forces.
During the time of the war, long-distance relationships were separated by mail and spouses, and sweethearts used a letter to stay in touch. People got married, and babies were born while their fathers were at war. Information from family and friends kept the American troops in battle and encouraged them through having a link back with their families. Mail communications were promoted at war because it ensured morale at the battlefront and home.
The letters illustrated their medical conditions and their hope for coming back home. John Conroy's letter to mom and dad is a sad one showing the pain the soldiers were going through, "most of us will be well in six months, but not completely cured for years. My back is in bad condition, and I cannot stand or walk much. The sudden beat of drum or any sharp, resonate noise, has a nerve ripping effect on us" (Brinkley 198).
During the Second World War, there were significant political, psychological, and economic shifts, and families were fully engaged in the war front. While the war opened new job opportunities for both the soldiers and Rosie the Riveter, it left them with devastating effects. Like Rosie, the Riveter recalls, "his English was not perfect, but his sense of humor helped the long days pass" (Brinkley 205). Most of them were robbed of their childhood, and roles shifted. Family members were shocked and hard some mixed emotions.
Rosie the Riveter and the soldiers had an added excitement about the war but were filled with uncertain fear of the consequences of the war; "most of my brother's friends and mine, began talking about the war, and the service knowing that we would be called to serve our country" (Brinkley 205). For everyone in the home front, the deployment of technology, a few tanks, dwindling quantities of guns and tanks and an enemy forced to fight with a little air cover, provided the distinctions between victory and defeat. The soldiers and the women at work were the arsenals of democracy. People universally supported the war, yet the only thing that united them was the necessity for victory, with conflicts and tensions not disappearing and goal not seeming very important; the labor force that was occupied by the soldiers who departed created more opportunities for women.
Food, clothing, and gas were rationed during the war, with communities conducting scrap metal drives. To win the war, women helped in building the scrap metal drives and found jobs as riveters in defense plants, welders and electricians. The rights of Japanese and American citizens were stripped from them, and soldiers, U. S citizens and women workers depended on the radio reports for news while they fought overseas. Entertainment and letter writing served to divert the Americans from worrying about the war. Americans were ready to sacrifice to achieve victory due to the fear of attack. The impacts of the war ended the economic depression that had affected America since 1929 (Brinkley 187). It enhanced the unity among Americans beyond the war efforts and to give their time, money, and sacrifices at home to ensure they succeeded abroad.
Brinkley, A. (1993). The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People, Volume II (Vol. 12, p. 7229). McGraw-Hill. Retrieved from https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgxwDqTWdlsKDmpjhZvgwwCdNtVjz?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1
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