I was checking bags with a rip off airline and was about to pay big bucks to fly home two bags. One of work clothes and one with my gear in it.
The guy behind the counter noticed my TWIC which looks just like a military id. He also saw my MMC that was in the same billfold.
He asked me if I was military. I told him no and that I was a merchant seaman.
He checked to see if that counted as military.
I guess it did. He took down the last 5 of my MMC and my bags flew for free that time.
That was flying home from Quebec.
I don’t ever ask for a military discount or pretend to be active military but sometimes I think the airport people mistake our twics for a military id because of the micro chip and watermark.
I show my TWIC whenever I am flying and sometimes my passport. The minute they see that UV watermark they wave you through.
I have sailed MSC before which makes you almost feel like you are Navy.
I am ex navy and I used to use the USO.
Don’t get me wrong I think it is first and foremost for our foreign vets and active military but shouldn’t we as merchant seaman be included in the club?
We as merchant mariners sometimes travel great distances also to get to and from our boats or ships.
Some USO’s are really nice. They have a place where you can take a nap or freshen up. You can go sit and watch a movie or nap in an easy chair. Things like that beat the heck out of waiting in one of those comfy airport terminal chairs.
Why should I have to pay for my bags to travel to and from the ship? I can’t write that off on my taxes. If I do it isn’t usually worth the extra line on my tax preparations.
We as merchant seaman can be called upon in times of war to help with the sea lift.
You know if things got bad enough to have a draft again like in WWII that it would not be “voluntary” to sail for sea lift in a national crisis or world war.
Often times the companies we work for service the military like Chou est.
When I was in the navy we had to sign in to use the USO. Everyone was very friendly and most if not all were volunteers.
They made sure you signed in and then after that they would help you or leave you be depending on what you wanted.
But the main reason, as I understood it, for making sure we signed in was the funding was based upon how many visitors they got.
I am sure there are more than a few merchant seaman who would be more than happy to help them boost their raster sheet.
I bet I could probably go into one and they would let me in but I don’t want to disrespect the military fighting men and women so I don’t.