Sunday, September 29, 2013

Help us get them Recognized

             World War II-era merchant mariners won their long struggle for official recognition as veterans only in 1988; and then only after an 11 year court battle.. Among them were several thousand merchant sailors who served on ocean-going tugs and barges, especially along the East Coast of the United States, transporting critical domestic bulk cargoes to factories and refineries where they were turned into the war materials and equipment necessary to keep the enemy at bay and our shores free from the aggressors. . While they did not cross the seas as did many of their fellow merchant mariner and Armed Guard colleagues, these men nonetheless found themselves in harm's way, sometimes being attacked and sunk by German U-boats.  Many died. Now the few remaining survivors of these tug and barge crews find that they often cannot establish their eligibility for veteran status, through no fault of their own. Documentation that would verify their service was not maintained in the first place, or was lost or destroyed many years ago. We had a bill in the House 1288 with 84 cosponsors and had no costs.  However it was in-corporated into HR 2189 by the decision of Sub-committee and is at the floor lever waiting for a vote. We also have a bill in the Senate S-1361 and we need to get the attention of our Senators.  If you share this concern, please help me get the attention of our senators by writing to them, emailing them or calling them.  Additionally I have prepared a petition that I would be glad to offer to those who will really want to help.  You can contact me at jdonhorton@embarqmail.com for further information and to learn how you can help


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