The main grievance the B.E.F. were organizing over was a demand for pre-payment for their adjusted service certificates owed to them, voted by Congress in 1924. This non-violent protest was essentially formed out of economic need. In the early thirties, at the start of the Great Depression in America, most men could not find a job and could not afford to feed and house their families. These veterans were simply asking for the aid that was owed them for their service in the first World War.
B.E.F. stands for Bonus Expeditionary Forces. The name "Bonus" is misleading because the Bonus was not a gift but payment of money to compensate men who served in the Army for the difference in pay between that of servicemen and non=servicemen in 1918. The bill was introduced into the House of Representatives, under President Hoover's administration, by a Texas Representative in 1931 and was pending in Congress. Members of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars were both in favor of the bill passing and the latter group was active in securing petitions for Congress.
The story is told by Walter W. Waters who was the Commander of the B.E.F.. ...Show more