Thursday, April 19, 2007

WWII Merchant Mariners Petition for Benefits

There is a small group of merchant mariners from the World War II era in front of our House of Representatives now appealing for benefits. They are asking for a $1,000 per month for their service during the war.

Now some may think that this sounds unreasonable and fear that this would set a precedent that would entitle any defense contractor that serves in a war zone a lifetime benefit. But stop to think about this before you form an opinion. The mariners of WWII were not just defense contractors. These men were heroes that were severely under appreciated. 700+ ships were sunk, many men were killed. More merchant marines died in the war than Marine Corps troops on the battlefield. Many of these men were treated as military combatants, subject to military discipline, and worked together with Navy personnel. Without these brave men who struggled to bring supplies, our Armed Forces may not have won the war - because it was this constant stream of arms and food, clothing and oil, that kept our men moving across Europe. Any good commander should understand the value of the supply line. These men were the supply line. The life line.

Why not award these men a pension for the remaining years of their life? They are not long for this earth, many of these men are in their 80's- would it be such a loss to our government that has taxed them many thousand dollars year after year? I think an even bigger question is why would our representatives reject the claims of these brave men when they so readily awarded money to the families of the 9/11 terror attacks?

...families of people killed in the 9/11 attack were awarded large amounts of money. I believe it was in the realm of $1 million per family for the loss of a family member in the twin towers or pentagon. I do not want to lessen their deaths, however these people could have died the very same day in a car accident driving to work. They were not bravely throwing themselves into a danger zone for our country- the merchant mariners of WWII were heroes.

We need to stop rewarding our 'victims' and start recognizing our 'heroes'.


Link to NavyTimes Article::

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am surprised our government gives these people such a hard time about getting benefits for fighting in WWII. Not when they so readily give benefits to folks from the world trade center in NY. Yes- 9/11 was a tradgedy... do we need to pay the victims families - no.

But, our veterans- yes. We need to take care of the people who have fought for our nation because these people are the reason we are free- treat them with respect and honor their sacrifices!

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