New Castle News

September 25, 2013

In praise of support from government

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

Some citizens are constantly faulting government. I have a great respect for government.

Why? Here’s my story.

In the 1940s, as a kid on the South Side of New Castle, I had no definitive future. Following high school, you got a job, any job, and that was your future. My family had no money, and the word “college” wasn’t a part of our vocabulary.

We were at war and my brother and I enlisted, he in the Coast Guard and I in the Navy. Four years later, the war ended and we got out of the service.

And then back to what? It just so happened that the federal government had enacted a law known as the G.I. Bill whereby veterans, if qualified, could enroll at a college and the tuition would be paid by the government.

That program lasted until 1956 and during that time, 2.2 million veterans achieved collegiate degrees. I was one of them.

I attended Clarion for one year and then transferred to Penn State. When I was in the middle of my third semester at state, I learned that Notre Dame had a program for ex-GIs who, if they had at least two years of college completed and a certain scholastic record, could be admitted then and there to the law school at Notre Dame. I contacted Notre Dame, gave them my academic records and a short time later, was accepted to the program.

Three years later, the kid from the South Side has a law degree. Unbelievable.

Contemporaneously with the G.I. Bill, the government set up a similar program whereby it enabled 6.6 million citizens to receive the benefits of a training program.

Governments are no good? Corporations are self-centered? Let us review and judge.

Richard J. Audino

Kings Chapel Road

New Castle