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Question
In 1932 a brit ancestor claimed to be from Detroit and got honourable discharge reason conv of gov't (I think convenience of government)d b 615-210. please could you help me with why he was discharged. Also why would a Brit pretend to be American to join army, was it better paid than UK? Thanks in advance

Answer
Do you have his DD-214, the official discharge document? It might give you a clue. Here's a website that explains it: http://www.dd214.us/  

As for why he joined the Army, it could be one of many, many reasons. I would guess, though, that it wasn't the pay, which was very low, although the military did provide food and housing and it was during the Great Depression, so that could have been a factor. Hope this helps.

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Marc Leepson

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I can answer most questions dealing with all aspects of U.S. military history. My expertise is the Vietnam War. I also have written extensively about the U.S. Civil War, World War II, World War I, The Philippine War, and the American Revolution. My books include a concise biography of the Marquis de Lafayette, the history of the American Flag, and the post-Jefferson history of Monticello, and therefore know a great deal about those specific subjects. I specialize in writing about matters of strategy--not tactics. And I also am interested in personalities. I have very little knowledge about ordnance or the value of old military memorabilia. Nor do I know a lot about uniforms and insignia--except about the Vietnam War. To repeat: I have no expertise in assessing the value of ordnance or uniforms or any type of military equipment. And my knowledge about military uniforms is only limited to those of the Vietnam War era. If you have questions on these topics, I recommend contacting an antiques dealer in your area who specializes in military uniforms, ordnance, etc.

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Author and journalist with more than 35 years' experience.

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New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribute, New York Newsday, the Arizona Republic, St. Petersburg Times, Detroit News. Magazines: Smithsonian, Preservation, The VVA Veteran, Vietnam, Civil War Times, America's Civil War, Military History, World War II. Editor: The Webster's New World Dictionary of the Vietnam War

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BA, 1967, George Washington University, History MA, 1971, George Washington University, European History

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Vietnam Veterans of America Excellence in the Arts Award, 2011

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Vietnam Veterans of America

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