What did it feel like to be an American during World War II and in the years that immediately preceded and followed it? There are no easy answers to this question because no two Americans experienced the turmoil of these years in exactly the same way. Differences existed between civilian life at home and at work, between civilian and military life, and between life in each of the major armed forces branches. National issues were also significant in determining individual experiences. Despite the differences, by the time the war years were behind them and the process of rebuilding had begun, there was an overwhelming sense among many Americans of having shared an unforgettable experience.