That’s why all those Police/EMTs/Firefighters shouldn’t get special treatment either, right?
If you served in the MM, sailing deep sea. You served your country. If you worked for MSC, or as a ConMar going back and fourth to the Middle East for months you served your country. The MM has always been the 4th arm of defense. In the words of President FDR, when addressing congress about the GI Bill, "I trust Congress will soon provide similar opportunities to members of the merchant marine who have risked their lives time and time again during war for the welfare of their country."
He wasn’t just talking about WWII, but every major conflict our nation has known. In the majority of conflicts the MM has been the first hit by enemy combatants and the hardest. Going back to our founding as John Adams said, “No group of individuals did more for establishing our country than the American Merchant Seamen and Privateers. Their record speaks eloquently of their devotion and sacrifices.”
I’m not the kind of person who tries to scam my way to cool discounts or anything like that, or try to present myself as something I’m not, but if a company wants to extend courtesy to professional mariners then that’s a good thing. Time and again the USMM has been forgotten and abandoned by the public and the governement. After wars they’ve been called draft dodgers, socialists, malcontents, and generally held in disrepute.