Definition of COPE

1 a: to deal with and attempt to overcome problems and difficulties —often used with with <learning to cope with the demands of her schedule>

Making Do

World War II gave the nation a lesson in “making do.” Rationing limited the amount and kind of food a family could have. It limited the distances one could drive. It made individual family members learn to cope with shortages, deal with emergencies, endure loss, and work with one another in support of a war effort. City dwellers planted “Victory Gardens”; rural farmers pooled gasoline rations to run tractors and harvesters. Civil Defense officers taught civilians to “spot” aircraft and to recognize plane types. Medical facilities encouraged blood donations. Nearly every family could recount a sacrifice or hardship during the war that helped mold World War II Americans into the country’s “Greatest Generation.”

Americans in our recent wars have not been called to a “war effort.” In fact, Americans were urged to “live their lives, to travel and to shop.” In many ways, people were all but unaware that the nation was at war.

Nonetheless, military families, as in all other wars, make do with separations, danger, frequent moves, and the uncertainty of what comes next. They become experts at “making do” with their unconventional family life.


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