During World War II Bulova Watches established "The Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking" to teach watchmaking to all who were interested. One of the great programs set up by them in 1945 was to have war veterans, with a focus on disabled veterans, enroll the school at no cost to them and learn the art of watchmaking and start a new career post military service. This was an extremely successful program that graduated over 800 students who gained employment in the watchmaking industry. Put simply it was set up by Bulova "To serve those, who served us." Unfortunately the original school was closed in the year 2000.
With the advent of two modern wars and the resurgence of the mechanical watch becoming once again in the good favors of collectors; a new similar program for vets was set up on February 27th, 2008 under the guidance of "The American Watch Guild". There are some differences from the original program, and they are all positive ones. Instead of being limited to one teaching location Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans now have the possibility of attending 1 of 11 watchmaking programs in various locations across the country. This time around well known retailers of fine watches have also stepped up to lend training, and support to the returning soldiers.
The all important basics of the program still hold true for veterans; no prior watchmaking experience is needed, and the program generally takes care of all the costs for those who enter it.
It's a fantastic way for the watch industry to support the modern veterans who come home often struggling to find work.
To learn more about the program you can check out the official website: www.vetwatchtraining.org
To learn more about the homecoming Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, and to see what you can do to help make their transition home a more pleasant one visit: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America at www.iava.org