During the Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps gave young men jobs to help support their families. In this episode, Bidwell Barnes of Gulfport recalls joining the CCC and working to battle forest fires in South Mississippi. Shortly after his twenty-first birthday,
Bidwell Barnes was drafted into the army to fight in Europe. He describes the basic training required to become a medic for the 92nd Infantry Division. As an army medic during WWII, Bidwell Barnes was expected to give medical aid to friend and foe alike. He remembers how both sides would spread falsehoods about him and his fellow black soldiers.
After helping to defeat fascism in Europe, Bidwell Barnes returned to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He recounts feeling surprised at having to sit in the back of bus after serving his country.