The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

Feb. 1st, 2006, Omaha World-Herald

Truth is Due War Brides

By Ruth Millett

“The women hadn’t been told what conditions to expect,” said the mother of one of the 75 babies all children of American service men, crowded into a converted freighter for the 45-day voyage from New Zealand to America.

Certainly foreign wives of GIs, no matter how eager they are to join in America – should know just what hardships if any, they are letting themselves and their children in for before they set sail.

Not only should they know what to expect in the way of accommadations for the voyages – but they should know what conditions to expect after they arrive in America.

They should know what difficulties to expect if they must make long train trips carrying small babies. They should know about the housing situation, etc.

It is flattering to Americans to have the people in other countries look on American as Utopia and land of plenty and a hospitable haven.

But the war brides who are contemplating joining their husbands here should be given a realistic picture. All too many of them are fighting to get to American – only to be disillusioned. The welcome they expected is not always here. Living conditions aren’t always what they have been led to expect.

And in the case of the New Zealand brides, their voyage was a much worse hardship that they anticipated.

If they know the truth before hand, then they can make up their minds whether they want to join their husbands now or wait for better conditions.

If they choose to come now – whatever the hardships – they can never complain. “We hadn’t been told what conditions to expect.”

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