Richard Nixon photo

Exchange of Remarks With Bob Hope.

January 03, 1970

I JUST had an opportunity to express appreciation to Bob Hope for his trip abroad, m which again he has entertained our servicemen in areas all over the world and also in Vietnam.

And one different aspect of this trip that particularly was emphasized was that the education benefits under the GI bill were brought home to our servicemen in Vietnam.

In checking the statistics, I have found, as far as those who apply under the GI bill of rights are concerned, that the number to date from Vietnam is less than those who applied after World War II and the Korean war. We have given a tremendous impetus to those applications as a result of the whole trip.

Neil Armstrong was with him on the trip, and he pointed out that had it not been for the education that he was able to get through the GI bill of rights he might not have been an astronaut. We are not suggesting by that that the way to go to the moon is to apply for an education under the GI bill of rights. But over 50,000 GI's in Vietnam sighted up for their education benefits. These applications will be processed by the Michigan State University and then those who are applicants will receive recommendations as to the type of education that they should then proceed to follow.

I think this is really an enormous achievement. We know that these trips that Bob Hope takes abroad are giving a great lift to our men abroad. But here we have given them an opportunity for something that will carry them on after they leave the service, and we are most grateful to you, Bob, for what you have done.

MR. HOPE. Thank you, Mr. President.

I found it very interesting. And these kids actually didn't believe that these educators-they sent over 10 educators, my son-in-law, Sam McCullough, was one of them and they went out to the fire bases and recruited some of these boys--these kids were amazed that these educators would come out to the fire bases.

In fact, they caught a torpedo in one of the bases. They threw a rocket in or something while they were signing them up for the GI bill.

They signed up 50,000 and expect to sign up 30,000 more. And, of course, I think this is great morale for these kids. They really enjoyed--the fact that the country is thinking about them is very, very important.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, we are awfully glad that your trip gave them the idea which they needed, just that little extra boost.

Now that we are going out to play golf, I guess we could say that what is really needed now is follow-through when we get on the golf course. And these fellows now will have follow-through after they complete their service.

MR. HOPE. Well, I am a little apprehensive about this because I understand you were practicing yesterday and you may be after my vaudeville money.

THE PRESIDENT. It was only practice I can assure you, but today we are partners, you know.

MR. HOPE. We better go on the course and practice together.


Note: The President spoke at 1:34 p.m. at Mr. Hope's home in North Hollywood, Calif.

Richard Nixon, Exchange of Remarks With Bob Hope. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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