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In America money and financial gains are considered important yardsticks of success Thus it comes as no surprise that people who do not share such ambitions are looked down upon by society Such people especially those without residence are called lazy and good for nothing but perhaps worst of all they are lumped together under the generic label homeless This is of the greatest insult of all for many are merely homeless or street people but in fact hoboes From their work ethics to their personalities to their motivation for living the transient life the American hobo has always been a very different entity from the bum tramp or homeless To understand the hobo one must first understand the origin of the hobo and his history The word hobo has many different possible sources many of which are characteristic of the hobo himself Some think that the term hobo was coined after the American Civil War when many former soldiers were looking for work Many of them turned to migratory farming and became hoe boys Others believe that it referred to their movement after the Civil War when they were HOmeward BOund Still others believe that the term comes from the Latin Homo bonus or good manWatman 8 All are possible origins and all describe the nature of the American hobo Whether it be his drive to work his constant need for movement or his being a simply good man the hobo has always been a facet of American history The first recognized description of hoboes was after the American Civil War They were usually former soldiers looking for odd jobs Having been soldiers they were trained for vagabond survival Vagabond survival is the ability to live without a base and without any kind of dependenceKid 2 Some historians believe the former soldiers who later became hoboes did so because they felt disconnected from society quite similar to Vietnam veteransJoyce 256 These former soldiers also
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