Merchant marines deserve recognition | Letters, July 17
July 21, 2009 · Updated 10:13 AM
The Seattle Times printed an article titled, “Merchant Marine Veterans Fight for Recognition.”
I was one of them. The Veterans of Foreign Wars is opposing HR23, which would include recognition and a small compensation for the benefits other services gained after World War II.
As the spokesman for the V.F.W. says, “It’s a matter of fairness” because so many civilian organizations supported that war.
But they were never sitting ducks as we were. We carried tons of explosives and thousands of troops, and if we were hit our ships blew to shreds.
We were by law actually part of the military, but we were never given any of the benefits, though a few of us got medals. I even have an honorable discharge from the Army.
There are only a handful of us left in our 80s and 90s, and we will soon be gone. Will we go in bitterness or respect?