Benefits Available For US Merchant Mariners


#21

[QUOTE=roundabout;140376]There was a time in the late 70’s we were able to use the VA services with being a Merchant Mariner our medical and dental costs were covered. If not mistaken, the much ballyhooed Ronald Reagan stopped this? I do remember going to the dentist and doctor in Morgan City on this plan with just a Z card in the late 70’s.[/QUOTE]
Only WW2 merchant mariners have VA benefits. The old Marine Hospital system was rolled into the Public Health system in the '70s. The system went from piss poor treatment to piss poor treatment that you had to wait even longer for.


#22

[QUOTE=tugsailor;140382]Actually, those were the Marine Hospitals that were specifically for merchant mariners. Fishermen on documented vessels could use them too.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for that tugsailer, was a nice deal back in the day.


#23

I’ve always been a big believer in the “Mariner Outreach System”, it makes me feel like there’s a higher purpose to what we do than just a job we can change at anytime. As long as you have an active license and are registered in the MOS it’s more of a calling than a job, knowing that you can be called upon to serve in a capacity not all that different from the Navy should the nation need you. We meager civilians who go down to the sea in ships have answered the call before and will someday have to answer it again. When that day comes, I’ll be ready.


#24

Got a sweet military discount through geico in NJ recently, they ask what branch and I said USCG Merchant Marine, they said OK.


#25

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;140457]I’ve always been a big believer in the “Mariner Outreach System”, it makes me feel like there’s a higher purpose to what we do than just a job we can change at anytime. As long as you have an active license and are registered in the MOS it’s more of a calling than a job, knowing that you can be called upon to serve in a capacity not all that different from the Navy should the nation need you. We meager civilians who go down to the sea in ships have answered the call before and will someday have to answer it again. When that day comes, I’ll be ready.[/QUOTE]

Well said Paddy!


#26

Mariners house in Boston is a great lodging deal for active or retired mariners.
http://marinershouse.org


#27

[QUOTE=roundabout;140415]Thanks for that tugsailer, was a nice deal [access to free public health service care] back in the day.[/QUOTE]

Only if you had no other options. I spent 11 hours in the emergency room in Staten Island waiting to have a broken ankle taken care of. When I got a job that provided medical coverage, I was glad to not need the public health service hospitals.


#28

I was working for MSC during the height of the cold war. I and many merchant seamen were on a ballistic missile tracker doing circles 12 miles off the Kamchatka peninsula waiting for a dummy warhead SS-20 to be launched from silos in Ukraine. We were instructed what to do if we were captured by the Soviet Union and fast ways to scuttle the ship. We were buzzed routinely by backfire bombers. Some military active duty people did 20 years and never were that close to our enemies.

I mean no disrespect to any active duty military who served anywhere with this post. You did your time and duty. I worked on a ship where the Bosn was killed by the anchor chain when it was dropped and had come apart in the chain locker ( link fell apart). It whipped around the wildcat hit him with hundred pound links and scrambled his insides. He took 2 hours to die in agony screaming " I’m getting cold mate I’m getting cold". We were in Egypt.

We merchant seaman carry the bombs/helos/tanks/trucks for the war effort.


#29

[QUOTE=Too bad steam is gone;140529]I was working for MSC during the height of the cold war. I and many merchant seamen were on a ballistic missile tracker doing circles 12 miles off the Kamchatka peninsula waiting for a dummy warhead SS-20 to be launched from silos in Ukraine. We were instructed what to do if we were captured by the Soviet Union and fast ways to scuttle the ship. We were buzzed routinely by backfire bombers. Some military active duty people did 20 years and never were that close to our enemies.

I mean no disrespect to any active duty military who served anywhere with this post. You did your time and duty. I worked on a ship where the Bosn was killed by the anchor chain when it was dropped and had come apart in the chain locker ( link fell apart). It whipped around the wildcat hit him with hundred pound links and scrambled his insides. He took 2 hours to die in agony screaming " I’m getting cold mate I’m getting cold". We were in Egypt.

We merchant seaman carry the bombs/helos/tanks/trucks for the war effort.[/QUOTE]

Thank you, your post is spot on correct, I’m terribly sorry about the Bosn.


#30

[QUOTE=salt’n steel;140358]^^^ glad you got your discount- maybe if you did active duty and woke up everyday knowing you couldn’t quit, wore a uniform everyday, pulled port and starboard watches for months and answered just about everyone with a salute and yes sir! you might feel different about taking advantage of a meager entitlement.[/QUOTE]

Maybe??

Maybe if you did an Winter North Atlantic run, woke up everyday knowing the only way to quit was to jump over the side, wore mechanics coveralls stiff with grease and bilge slops everyday, pulled 6 and 6 watches because your total pob was 22 and a man was down with the flu and had to answer the crazy old bosun’s every wish with a yes sir.

Maybe if you served on a ship where hazing of greenhorns was still prevalent and that asshole of an old man upstairs had the legal power to put you on bread and water. Maybe if your ship was loaded with who knows what kind of explosive military cargo packaged and secured by 18 year old servicemen who take more smoke breaks than any union AB and don’t know the difference between a chain fall and a come-along.

Maybe if you had no choice because the US Military is one of the only remaining organizations that charters American ships anymore.

Maybe if you ever chatted with a Navy guy who spent more time drinking coffee than chipping paint because he had more people on a single work detail than a merchant ship carries total.

Maybe if you ever got stitched up by a nervous 3rd mate with sausage fingers and absolutely ZERO medical experience.

Maybe if you ever loaded a package of meat stamped “For Prison Use Only” and wished you were in prison because, at least then, the deck would stop rolling long enough for you to shank the cook for undercooking that ecoli infested meat.

Maybe if you knew that at any time the US Army could exercises its contractual right to send your ship, without notice or time for you to quit, into a war zone. And when it does the only protection your company will provide is two middle aged men armed with Khukuris and a note saying “We petitioned the Army for a squad of national guardsmen armed with one 50 caliber and 6 itchy trigger fingers”

Maybe if you took a CRBD class where the instructor told you exactly how to commit suicide because “this sh!t is nasty and only purpose built Navy ships stand any realistic chance against a CRBD attack”.

[I]Maybe then you’d check your attitude at the door.[/I]

I don’t take military discounts because I don’t work aboard US Merchant ships, I work foreign flagged in the oil patch… but after doing one cadet cruise on a U.S. flagged ship under Army contract I will say [I][B]F U to anyone who says real US Merchant Mariners, the ones on hard-working US Flagged ships, don’t deserve a $2 discount on a F’n movie ticket.[/B][/I]

So here’s to you buddy, it’s the only salute a US Merchant Marine Officer gets for his service, and now I’m passing it on to you in the kindest way possible:

I’m not disparaging your service to this nation, everyone who puts on a uniform in service of this great nation has my earnest respect, but the reality is that any US Navy ship is a g’danm Cunard ocean liner compared to some US Merchant ships my buddies work on. The fact that merchant mariners [I]can quit[/I] in port, [I]and don’t[/I], only knocks them up a peg in my book.


#31

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;140457]I’ve always been a big believer in the “Mariner Outreach System”, it makes me feel like there’s a higher purpose to what we do than just a job we can change at anytime. As long as you have an active license and are registered in the MOS it’s more of a calling than a job, knowing that you can be called upon to serve in a capacity not all that different from the Navy should the nation need you. We meager civilians who go down to the sea in ships have answered the call before and will someday have to answer it again. When that day comes, I’ll be ready.[/QUOTE]

Yes Sir! And anyone who thinks MOS participants who take military discounts are a$$holes needs to read The Cruel Sea By Nicholas Mansarrat… the bottom line is, if a real war breaks out, you’d be hard pressed to find a Navy sailor volunteer to trade places with a merchant mariner!

Uniformed or not, [I][U]anyone[/U][/I] who signs on the dotted line of a federal document willing to fly the Stars and Stripes through the crosshairs of an enemy rifle or torpedo gunner deserves indisputable thanks. To think anything less is pure arrogance.


#32

[QUOTE=cmjeff;140538]Maybe??

I don’t take military discounts because I don’t work aboard US Merchant ships, I work foreign flagged in the oil patch… but after doing one cadet cruise on a U.S. flagged ship under Army contract I will say [I][B]F U to anyone who says real US Merchant Mariners, the ones on hard-working US Flagged ships, don’t deserve a $2 discount on a F’n movie ticket.[/B][/I]

So here’s to you buddy, it’s the only salute a US Merchant Marine Officer gets for his service, and now I’m passing it on to you in the kindest way possible:

I’m not disparaging your service to this nation, everyone who puts on a uniform in service of this great nation has my earnest respect, but the reality is that any US Navy ship is a g’danm Cunard ocean liner compared to some US Merchant ships my buddies work on. The fact that merchant mariners [I]can quit[/I] in port, [I]and don’t[/I], only knocks them up a peg in my book.[/QUOTE]

Ok cmjeff - you spent a lot of time on countering my negative opinion on merchant mariners qualifying for a military discount. Everything you wrote is noted and yep, I got your picture salute loud and clear. I see Sweat-n-Grease thanked you, so if someone with his background and service supports veteran or military discounts for those with a MMC and TWIC then I guess I’m way out of line on this whole issue.

To cut this short, I’ve sailed civilian for 23 years - with some similar experiences just like yours. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum regarding caliber of mariners too. I wasn’t trying to be a asshole, I was just sticking up for what I think is the intended purpose of the discounts, reserved for the men and women who volunteered to serve in uniform, don’t make a whole lot of money and depending on what branch they are in, end up spending months to a year in places where the population hates you no matter what our country is trying to accomplish. If they get a little token of thanks at HD or Lowes or movie theater that I don’t get then in my opinion let them have it. Hell, I make probably as much or more than a flag- ranked officer, have every other month off to do what I want. They sure don’t have that. If there’s another Desert Storm or major sealift that justifies using the MOS, then I am 100% signed on


#33

[QUOTE=salt’n steel;140574]Ok cmjeff - you spent a lot of time on countering my negative opinion on merchant mariners qualifying for a military discount.

Hell, I make probably as much or more than a flag- ranked officer, have every other month off to do what I want. [/QUOTE]

Lol, Considering I’m a drillship captain, I got nothing but time to counter arguments (do it all day in fact). And considering I made more money than the Vice President last year, I ain’t taking no discounts myself.

Just say’n, not all my fellow mariners are riding the oil patch gravy train, some here still work for a living and I never want to loose sight of that fact :wink:

No ill will intended.


#34

I haven’t been doing it much but once in awhile at the grocery store they ask if I’m military and I show them my gov’t CaC card or TWIC.

This is less successful at the airport. Some airlines will waive my baggage fee with gov’t orders and my ID, some will not because I am a civilian. It seems to depend on the agent.


#35

[QUOTE=john;140345]
Here’s the registration GOVX link: [B][I]http://bit.ly/1ooJYLQ[/I][/B]
[/QUOTE]

Thanks Johns, the link worked great. I actually called and confirmed my application via phone, they told me all is copasetic.


#36

One of the benefits available to US Merchant Seamen is a “No-Fee” Passport.

They’re good for 5 years, and are available through the US Passport Special Issuance Agency in Washington DC.

You need a copy of your MMC, a letter from your employer or union, and your two passport photos along with a completed application.

It helps greatly if you’re in DC, as I got my first Freebie the next day.

Anytime you can stiff Uncle Sam for a necessary document to work, you might as well do it, since his minions have their greasy hands out for our cash for all the OTHER federal funny-papers we need to make a living.

Here’s the link to the CFR statute:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title22-vol1/xml/CFR-2012-title22-vol1-sec51-52.xml

And here’s the link to the US Department of State’s FAM,(Foreign Affairs Manual):

(jump to 7 FAM 1350 Appendix G, section “a” (2))

Special Issuance Agency workers are a markedly nicer lot than your usual bureaucratic office drones…I assume this is because this is the office that issues passports to Congress and their staffers when they fly off on their junkets…and it just wouldn’t DO to alienate THOSE folks.


#37

[QUOTE=Bilgeman;140666]One of the benefits available to US Merchant Seamen is a “No-Fee” Passport.

They’re good for 5 years, and are available through the US Passport Special Issuance Agency in Washington DC.

You need a copy of your MMC, a letter from your employer or union, and your two passport photos along with a completed application.

[/QUOTE]

Yes a free passport to offset the cost of the TWIC. It has a cool maroon cover and is emblazoned with the word “OFFICIAL”


#38

[QUOTE=Jeffrox;140674]Yes a free passport to offset the cost of the TWIC. It has a cool maroon cover and is emblazoned with the word “OFFICIAL”[/QUOTE]

No, it looks just like a regular passport…blue cover…except on one of the back pages, it has “No-Fee. The bearer is an American Merchant Seaman” or words to that effect. ( I guess this is to inform those pirates or terrorists that may be concerned that no-one is going to negotiate or pay a ransom for our behings should we get taken hostage. I can’t really think of any other valid reason that the Feds would see fit to inform unknown foreign Immigration officers and internal security types of what we do for a living).

And yes, it DOES help defray the cost of the damned useless TWIC card, ( at least the TWIC was useful to that USCG Commandant…James Loy?.. that retired to take a seat on the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin…the company we had to buy our TWICs from when they first came out. Quite serendipitous, that.).


#39

Ok, I have one that is maroon and labeled OFFICIAL, I guess I have the CIVMAR version of the free passport. When the ghouls see it I’m sure I’ll be the first person to singled out for a bad time.


#40

Once upon a time I had one of those nifty maroon passports. What I recall is that in some places (like Tocumen in Panama) I got to skip the customs line going in and airport departure fees leaving, and en route to other places I was instructed not to carry that passport but to use my blue one. I assume that had to do with the aforementioned ghouls …