THE IMPACT of the G.I. Bill has had a tremendous effect on this nation’s economy.

The term, G.I. Bill, refers to the assistance Uncle Sam afforded veterans of World War II and other wars. This is especially true in assisting veterans to attend a college or university and earn a degree.

Ye OLD Columnist (YOC) was fortunate to be among the first to attend a university under what was known as the G.I. Bill. The original G.I. Bill, which had an official title of “The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944,” was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 22, 1944. He had originally proposed to Congress, as early as July 28, 1943, that such legislation be enacted.

Upon my discharge from the U.S. Navy in August, 1946, I started making plans to attend Baylor University and pursue a major in journalism. A month later in mid-September, I enrolled at Baylor as a freshman, attending with the assistance of the G.I. Bill.

With this help, Uncle Sam paid my tuition and fees, bought my books, gave me a small stipend for school supplies ($5 per quarter) and also afforded a monthly stipend of $65. The following year, the monthly stipend increased to $75 per month. This assistance continued until I graduated four years later in May, 1950.

Then in March, 1953, Ann and I purchased a small home in Abilene with the assistance of a G.I. loan from Uncle Sam. The home was located on the far west side of Abilene — 1010 Bowie Drive. It looked like a mansion to us. It contained 820 square feet, including a single-car garage. The price of the house was $8,400, which figured slightly more than $10 per square foot. The interest rate was only four percent, and the monthly payments were $62, including the taxes and insurance.

Yep, Uncle Sam has been kind to me. I gave him almost two years of my young life; however, it was worth every minute of the active duty time. The Navy taught me many useful things I would have never learned in civilian life, and for this I am thankful. Thanks Uncle Sam for the many courtesies you have extended to my family and me.

IF YOU happen to see Rocky Littlejohn, you might offer congratulations. Rocky is a miniature Doberman, who became a father for the first time on August 1 and August 3.

Yep, you read it right — August 1 and 3. Here’s the story — the proud mother, Miss Reese, also a Miniature Doberman, gave birth to four pups on August 1. Two days later, the fifth pup was born. If you don’t believe YOC, ask Lyndsi Littlejohn, owner of Rocky.

Rocky lives in Stephenville, while Miss Reese is a resident of Arlington. By the way, mother, father and the five pups are all right.

HERE’S ONE for the books. The individual credited with identifying the measles virus made a grade of “D” in his college biology course. Dr. Thomas C. Peebles was the person. He later graduated from medical school and became a well-known researcher. Dr. Peebles recently died at the age of 89.

YOC can relate to Dr. Peebles’ grade of “D”. During my freshman year in college, I, too, made a “D” in a biology course. The class was composed mostly of pre-med and pre-dental students. Yep, they spent more time in the lab than YOC. I was probably concentrating more on “Campusology” 101.

’TIL NEXT TIME — “Education is the best provision for old age.” — Aristotle, (384-322 B.C.) Greek philosopher.

Dr. Stuart Chilton, a retired educator/journalist, lives in Stephenville.