Merchant Marine Veterans Legislation

From an alumni forum:

TO: USMMAA Chapters and Class Agents

From: Mel Tublin

Re: Merchant Marine Veterans Legislation

Date: 9 May 2007

The USMMAAF is in support of the Merchant Marine Veterans Legislation. Two

Bills have been introduced in the 110th Session of Congress recognizing the

sacrifices of Merchant Mariners in WWll and providing for $1000 monthly

benefits for Merchant Marine Veterans who served afloat between 7 December

1941 and 31 December 1946, their surviving spouses and veteran status. The

first is H.R. 23 introduced by Congressman Robert Filner of California, the

Chairman of the Veterans Committee. His committee held hearings on April

18, 2007. As of today, the bills have 120 co-sponsors in the House and 32

in the Senate. The numbers of cosponsors are climbing rapidly.

To be successful we have to gain support in the Legislative and Executive

branches of the government. We have to pass the two bills in both houses of

Congress in common form and signed by the President. This requires your

assistance and support to be successfully implemented. The bills are being

supported by the Merchant Marine Veterans Organization, the Kings Point

Alumni, the Maritime Unions etc. We expect the other State Academy Alumni

Associations to participate and other organizations that we hope to enlist

for their support. If there are other organizations, friends, relatives,

neighbors, etc., that you can enlist, please do so and let us know of their

support. We are not asking for funding, but would appreciate that you and

they communicate with your representatives in the House and Senate to

support the legislation. This is a grass roots campaign for recognition of

Merchant Mariners and the marine industry.

You can read the legislation in both houses; get the name, address, email

address, telephone numbers of your representatives and senators on the

Internet. In addition, you can also see if your legislators are

cosponsors; who the other cosponsors are; the status of the bills, follow

their progress in Congress etc. through the websites.

The best website for Congress, both House and Senate is the Library of

Congress “Thomas”.On the Internet GOTO “”. At "Find a bill,

amendment, etc.," Click “Thomas by bill, text or number,” OR at "Search

bill text" type either HR23 or S961, then click “bill number circle”

beneath the search box. Then click “Search”. Then you will have options to

the text of the bill; its summary or status; cosponsors; statements of

witnesses, etc. There you can also get the name, address, email address,

telephone number of your Representative or Senator and even get to their

website for personal details. Emailing your Representative or Senator is

easy on their websites to let them know how you feel or what you want them

to do. Another excellent website for the legislation and historical

information about Merchant Mariners and why this legislation is needed is


Check first to see if your Representative or Senator is a cosponsor of the

bill in their part of Congress. If so, then email them and THANK THEM FOR


BILLS ENACTED. They will appreciate that you know that they have already

signed on to the legislation. Make the message personal and let them know

that you are a constituent. Remember politics is LOCAL. If they are not yet


GETTING THE BILLS ENACTED. If you have a personal relationship with your

legislator or their aides, talk to them as well. If they haven’t

cosponsored, communicate with them again. If they become a cosponsor later,

then don’t forget to thank them. Get your friends, neighbors, relatives and

other organizations to join us to do the same.

Make this a project for your class or chapter, whether they are personally

beneficiaries of the legislation or not. This is for the recognition of all

Merchant Mariners, which we are. This legislation should arouse the

interest of all alumni. Their participation is vitally needed. Email or

otherwise communicate this message to your class or chapter members.

Let us know if you have been successful in getting your legislators to

cosponsor the legislation, whether they are becoming active supporters as

well, or if you have a special relationship with your legislators. It is

only with the active participation of all of us that we can be successful

in gaining passage of the legislation. We have had successful campaigns

before and believe that with this Congress we can be successful. Up to date

information will follow.

Mel Tublin (

I am interested in the progress of this action. Do you know where it stands as we go into the 111th session of congress? I am trying to find a place on this site to post several articles that I have on other sites in hopes of finding someone who may have some memory of seagoing barges that plied the east coast during the WWII era. If your are interested you can view this work at I am not sure where to post on this site either, can you advise? Thanks.


Interesting. You can post the information to this thread or to the Industry News section.

Looking forward to learning more.

I see the bill has been re-introduced back into the 111th congress and has been passed into committee. Does anyone know how many cosponsors the bill has?

Where do they come up with that arbritary figure of $1000? For Military members things like this are based on diability, rank and longevity. I’m surprised the Dems didn’t get this into the recently passed Stimulus Package.

That is just that. An arbritary figure. How far do you go back. I am looking for some real old salts that go back to the WWII. I am seeking some mariners that served on old seagoing barges that worked the atlantic coast moving war materials to different ports. Most of those guys didn’t receive discharge certificates and are now not being recognized as veterans under the P. L. 95-202 & 105-368. The NMC will not provide recognition with out discharges or logbooks and both have gone missing on those guys. Do you know of any of these sailors?

Hello John,
I am having difficulty in posting some of my articles. When I post some articles that have data in columns, they seem to all go to the left side and are garbled or at least not under the corect heading , making them harder to understand or more like garbage. Can you hellp me out or lead me to a place that will explain what to do? Thanks.

On Jul 23, 2010 Congressman G. K. Butterfield NC-01 introduced a bill H.R. 5829, (W W II Merchant Mariners Service Act) that will allow alternative documentation to be used to replace official documentation that has been destroyed/withheld by government actions, thus allowing some 10,000 merchant coastwise seamen an opportunity to gain veterans recognition/status for their service during WW II. For the first time ever this bill will allow women who served during that time to be recognized for their service. This will be an historical movement for the women who have been denied their right to be recognized.
Since this bill was introduced at the end of a congressional session, it will be necessary to reintroduce te bill again next session. To date, it has 19 cosponsors and others have committed and may join when congress reconvenes. If you read this, please get in touch with your member of congress and tell them you want them to suport this bill. These seamen did what was asked of them and now it is our turn. DO IT.

[QUOTE=jdon;41048]These seamen did what was asked of them and now it is our turn. DO IT.[/QUOTE]

All they have to do is put it off for just another couple of years then the politicians can pass a really wonderful bill with tons of benefits and recognition and all stand up proudly to tell the voters how much they cared about those late, great seafarers and their service to their country. :rolleyes:

Too Little and too Late for most of our American Merchant Marine Heros from WW2. And it’s a damm shame because many of them could have used the help before they passed on. God Bless our brothers who sailed before us to keep our country free.

Thanks for the reply. Now we must do more that talk the talk. We must now walk the walk. Will you stand up and call your rep and get this bill off the dime? Thanks for the support.

It is not too late just yet. We must do the hard part. We must call our respective House of Rep and tell them to support H.R. 5829. Will you do that? Thanks in advance.

[U]An update to this thread[/U]. As of 26 Aug, all 13 members of the US House of Representatives from North Carolina have cosponsored this bill as another 13 have from the other states. It is picking up some momentum. We need more help if we are to see this bill clear the House. Please [B]call[/B] your respective member of the House and tell them you want them to [B]support this bill[/B]. It may be the last time will be able to help these seamen as they are leaving us at an alarming rate. Remember it is the [B]first time ever[/B] we will be giving the women who served in the merchant marine an opportunity to be recognized as veterans and they certainly deserve that. Come on let’s go.

Though I respect all veterans, I’d rather see my Representatives working on something more timely like getting us out of this recession and getting current merchants back to work.

That makes sense. I would like to see them doing something along those lines too. But have you ever thought about what the Representatives would be working on if those guys back in WWII had not done what they were asked to do. For that matter, what do you think you would be working on if they had not taken care of business back then? Think about it. How much business would we be doing and who would our merchants be if we let them come over here? WE must pay the piper if we are to dance. WE owe them and we should pay up.