Published Date

June 1, 1945

Resource Type

GI Roundtable Series, Primary Source

From GI Roundtable 34: Shall I Go Back to School? (1945)

To answer this question the editors of this pamphlet sent a photographer and a reporter to four Eastern schools. The picture stories that follow are what they brought back. Four students were chosen who differ in many ways but all of whom are veterans of this war: a married man who is preparing himself to teach art in order to support his wife and child; a youth who needs more high school credit before he can enter college and get the training he wants in mechanical drawing; an ex-Marine who aims to become on agricultural expert; and a man who came back and got married, but didn’t let that stop him from entering college for a four-year course in business administration. All of these four veterans said they like the experience of going back to school after seeing war service. They found a few things strange, but had no really difficult adjustments to make. Each of these ex-servicemen is receiving educational aid under either the GI Bill of Rights or the Act of March 24, 1943, for rehabilitation of disabled veterans (Public Law 16).

Bill Hobble, 24, managed a Morristown, New Jersey, dairy farm before he joined the Marines in 1942. After “boot training,” Hobble shipped out to the South Pacific with an Aviation Engineer Battalion. Out there be developed a 30 percent disability, came home, and was discharged. He knew what he wanted to learn, enrolled in a large university to study agriculture. The government is paying the cost of his education under the provisions of Public Law 16. When he gets his degree in 1948, Hobble plans to get a job in a state department of agriculture.

Nat Champlin, 26, of Newport, Rhode Island, wants to teach art and live in a quiet town with his wife and baby. To get a degree that will qualify him to teach, he now lives in Brooklyn and attends a well-known school of art. Champlin joined the Army in 1942, got his basic training at Ft. Belvoir and his commission at Armored Forces OCS. Action at Palermo, Salerno, Cassino, and Anzio won him the British DSM and the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. Discharged with a 100 percent disability, Champlin is continuing his education under the provisions of Public Law 16, which provides for disabled veterans.

Shorty Lecount, 20, of Floral Park, Long Island, is back in high school after 9 months’ service on a Navy transport in the South Pacific. He left school lacking only 2 credits for graduation. He is studying American history and mechanical drawing to get his diploma. While in the Navy, LeCount could have studied American history through the correspondence or self-teaching courses of the United States Armed Forces Institute, whose headquarters are at Madison, Wisconsin. He could also have submitted his boot training to be considered for credit toward his graduation. The high school might have awarded a diploma while he was in the service. When he does graduate, LeCount plans to go to college, eventually become a draftsman like his father. The GI Bill of Rights will help pay for his college education.

George Bliss, 21, left college to join the Army. Now he is back at college after an absence of 18 months. After his discharge, Bliss went to the Veterans Administration for advice. They helped him enroll at a leading college. Here he is studying business administration and will graduate in 1947 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Bliss is married and lives in Mount Vernon, New York. His wife has a job as secretary to the principal of the local high school. He gets a subsistence allowance of $75 a month from the government, plus his college tuition under the GI Bill of Rights.

Ask Yourself These Questions

  • Am I too old to go back to school?
  • Will I enjoy going to class with young fellows who haven’t been in uniform?
  • Can I get school credits for the years of experience I have had in the Army?
  • Should being married stand in the way of my going back to school when I get out?
  • Can I get courses that will bring me up to date on developments in any old job?
  • Which would be better for me: general education or vocational training?
  • If my physical disability keeps me from doing my old job, can I learn new one? What chance is there for me to take schoolwork related to my hobby?
  • What help does the GI Bill of Rights offer one in going back to school?

Next section: What’s the Best Job Preparation?