Should Merchant Mariners be able to use USO facilities? Are we?

I recently looked up the Soldiers and Sailors Hotel in NYC. Active Merchant Marines are entitled to the same deal as military folks of all branches. They have dorm rooms and private rooms. Very reasonable, midtown Manhattan.

[QUOTE=Jolly Tar;46404]Ex Navy?

Are you fucking KIDDING me!?

The fact that yer asking the question leads this Retired BMC to believe that you KNOW the answer to the question.

I don’t care HOW far you got to travel - yer making a CHOICE and could just as quickly walk away - NOT the case with ANY Active Duty sailor and YOU KNOW THIS

Could be called upon? When you get the call, shipmate I’ll be the first to drag you to the closest Enlisted Club or USO and pony up a bevy - until then, suck it up buttercup.

I can’t answer for the stupidity of people who don’t know the difference between a legit Military I.D. but anyone who tries to milk this, IN MY OPINION - CHAPS my ass.

Just sayin’

BMC(SW) John E Dupee, USN Retired
1984 - 2006[/QUOTE]

Yep, definatley a Chief.

Too touchy feely for a real Chief.

So basically the OP wants to use the USO because in theory he could potentially go in a war zone in some mythical future? Well hell, under that logic everyone who registered for the draft should be able to use the USO. Can I join VFW too?

This is like that crazy thread about mariners and gun rights. I miss that thread.

The twic is issued to air cargo workers as well as sailors I would think that airport workers would see them all the time? Maybe not.

“should merchant mariners be able to use their twic to make their bicycles sound like motorbikes?”

1 Like

[QUOTE=george44;52758]“should merchant mariners be able to use their twic to make their bicycles sound like motorbikes?”[/QUOTE]

It doesn’t work, I tried it.

Doh! There goes my plans for tomorrow…

What a way to end a thread…maybe! Awesome![QUOTE=george44;52758]“should merchant mariners be able to use their twic to make their bicycles sound like motorbikes?”[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=KPEngineer;52642]Too touchy feely for a real Chief.

So basically the OP wants to use the USO because in theory he could potentially go in a war zone in some mythical future? Well hell, under that logic everyone who registered for the draft should be able to use the USO. Can I join VFW too?[/QUOTE]

I think the point of the post got lost in the rhetoric. Perhaps I came off the wrong way in the OP. It’s been quite some time since I looked that far back. Additionally I never claimed to be a Pulitzer prize winning author.

I am not looking for cheap beers or to pretend i am something i am not. I am all for shaking hands, buying beers, and thanking the vets for their service.

I am a peace time vet and I thank God everyday for that. I was trained to go to war but never had to. Again, Thank God.

The VFW is definitely not my crowd. Not that I go to the bar anymore anyway.

I think the useful posts on here show that there are places a merchant seaman from any country [U]in transit[/U] can go to get a fair shake on room and board. And I thank those fellas for that.

It would be nice however if there was a place US sailors could go in the airport to just relax and get away from the hustle and bustle. Watch a movie, swap some sea stories.

I am not advocating passing yourself off as something you are not.
I have never pinned a medal on my uniform that i didn’t earn and i wouldn’t wear one that was just “given” to me for doing nothing.

I lost my military ID long ago while I was in the inactive reserves after completing my 4 year enlistment.
I was entitled to use the USO with that ID for another 6 years I think. But i never did.
I could have gotten a replacement so as to shop at the PX or use the USO but I never did.
Kinda felt like (at that time) if i wasn’t active I didn’t really deserve all the perks.

Lord knows the enlisted man and officers deserve all the perks they can get especially when the top pay for an E1 is / was around $8500/yr (in 95) and he still has to pay for his own uniforms and dry cleaning.
Uncle Sam gets his fair share of that man’s check too.

Taxation of active military is bullshit. Those guys deserve every dime and should be exempt from taxes as long as they are active military. The same goes for military pensions in my book.

I am pretty sure we will never see a pseudo USO for US merchant seamen[U] in transit[/U] in an airport.

That is why I posed the question.

As I have written, we US merchant seamen serve our country in our own way. Are we entitled to jack shit? Obviously not.
Do we expect special treatment?
I can’t remember meeting one yet that thought he deserved special treatment.

It would just be nice if we could be granted a pass to visit the USO to take a nap, relax, play ping pong with Forest Gump, or whatever.

Not just because we can be called on in times of war but because we spend a lot of time traveling and don’t get paid enough to be part of the “Admirals Club” like a business man.

Why the USO? Where the hell else are you going to find this type of facility already in an airport?

Wth the decline of US shipping and jobs for US Merchant Seaman it seems to me like maybe US Merchant Seamen deserve a break too.
Not at the expense of active military but hand in hand with the military and definitely second in line to any service member active or not.

Not everyone who has registered with the Selective Service is a[U] US merchant seaman[/U] [U]in transit[/U]. So no, your logic is not my logic. But by all means feel free to put your own cynical spin on it. SOP on gcaptain threads.

Not all merchant shipping companies will pick up your travel or pay your bag fees. I guess that all depends on the deal you make and with whom you make it.

Not every merchant seaman itemizes on his taxes and see if deducting your bag fees, your meals, or whatever adds up to jack shit at the end of the year. It will cost you more to have your tax guy add the extra form to your taxes than it is worth to claim those travel costs. Trust me I know.

As i posted before most merchant seamen don’t really have a choice when it comes to traveling. You must travel to and from your ship / boat no matter where it is at.

If you are the Captain of a supertanker then you are probably pulling down enough scratch to go first class all they way. Not so for the average Joe.

Maybe a little off topic but take the Ohio Turnpike for example.

They have the best rest stops in the States if you ask me… Free showers, TV lounge, a place to get a hot meal, etc.
Although these rest stops were built for the general public but it is mostly the truckers who use and take advantage of them.
It is the truckers who justify the state funding to keep these places open.
It is the truckers who pay the higher tolls on the turnpike to even use the road.

It is nice to have a place you can get a free shower, reasonably priced hot meal, and get some sleep in your sleeper without lot lizards knocking on your door at 2 AM.

Truckers have a choice too, right? They made the decision to be truckers.
Does that mean that a guy that spends 48 out of 52 weeks a year on the road trying to make a living the best way he knows how should have to get ripped off with truck stop prices on everything from his food to a shower?

If that trucker and all his buddies say piss on it, we are getting ripped off and hang it up…how is soccer mom gonna buy her Capri Sun at Wal mart for the kiddies?

Maybe I am just digging the hole deeper. It is late after all.

Just like truckers, US merchant seaman form the back bone of a great deal of the goods that come into and or leave this country and others.

I don’t expect any special recognition for this and neither do my most of my shipmates.
And neither do the truckers who make sure your groceries make it to market.

We are all just looking for a fair shake. And I think Ohio is on to something.

How about building some US Merchant Marine pseudo USO’s at all the major international airports around the world?
Who has the capability or would even care to lobby for funding such places?
The unions? Yeah, right.
The airlines sure as hell ain’t gonna do it for ya. Maybe if you trade in some airline miles or take out a credit card or something you can visit their version of this.

The USO’s are already in place all over the world.

If you are a US merchant seaman [U]in transit[/U] who has been dealing with flight delays, cancellations, etc, etc after about 18 hours + of that shit you are ready to snap.
Sure would be nice to have a place to wait out the bullshit of being a road warrior.

Does it have to be a USO? No. But again who really gives a shit about the US Merchant Marine nowadays anyway, right?
I can’t think of a better organization to lobby for and help stand up for the US Merchant Marine [U]in transit[/U].

Should we take from the vets to provide for the USMM? Absolutely not!
Let’s work together to lobby our government to provide even more funding for the USO’s.
How?
By allowing US Merchant Mariners [U]in transit[/U] to also take advantage of the wonderful services that they offer. And again all of this would be second in line to any service member.

If the USO is full up (which would be great for them) then sorry Popeye but you’re shit outta luck.

As far as “mythical” times of war goes…if shit hits the fan and they reinstate the draft watch how fast they draft a merchant seaman into service.
I guess maybe then we would be able to sit elbow to elbow at the USO without having to be signed in as a guest.

Not a chance of shit ever getting that bad again? With all the body bags Bush Jr. filled I don’t think a lot of people realize just how close we came to just that.

He almost started a conventional WW III when he ignored his old man and invaded Baghdad.

Yes, it would be the late 60’s / early 70’s all over again but did all the protests stop them from filling more body bags back then?

Yes, in the end public outrage helped end the war and the draft. But why do we still have the Selective Service? Just for the hell of it?
I don’t think so.

Public outrage or not if they need some more hot bodies to turn cold they will reinstate the draft.

If you are a US merchant seaman you are going help the war effort like it or not.
Especially if your number is called in the lottery. They would probably give you a choice. A military deferment to serve on merchant ships or active military.

Hopefully things never get that bad again but most war makers will tell you now that we are in the atomic age most future battles, skirmishes, police actions, liberations, etc, etc are going to be fought conventionally because nuclear war is the end of life as we all know it.

It is not as much a myth or far off possibility as you might think.

And how about the US merchant seamen that work in the civil service for MSC?
You don’t think Iran could blow one of those fast sea lift ships out of the water if they wanted to?
Get on an MSC ship and do a Med cruise shipmate.
See if you don’t realize the gravity of your situation then. And all that for $90/day or so for AB? Even less for an OS?

But no those guys are just fucking asshole leaches if they get off the ship in a foreign land and would like a quiet place like the USO to wait for their flight instead of sitting next to the stinking hajji that doesn’t use deodorant because it is against his religion.

No those guys don’t risk their lives. It is just the active military on board that are risking it all, right?

You don’t think the entire Persian Gulf is a war zone? Then you haven’t sailed there.
Tensions are always high in that region. And at any moment we are just a gnats ass away from all hell breaking loose.

“Mission Accomplished” my ass. We are at war folks and have been for the better part of 10 years now.

And what of that MSC sailor that is required to sign Articles of War? I guess he is a fucking impostor too, right?

Loosen up and open your minds a little fellas.

Most US merchant seamen are very humble and just deal with the bullshit of traveling without expecting or asking for any special treatment.
But just because we don’t ask for a helping hand does that mean we should not get it?

When I was in the Navy we were not at war and a good deal of USO’s were in danger of being shut down because most service men were not using them anymore.
They get funding based upon how many vets sign the roster sheet.
If the federal government and the USO made an exception for US merchant seamen[U] in transit[/U] they would have not been looking at those shut downs for lack of funding due to lack of use.

Now that we are at war again I am sure they are not having this problem any longer. Many more service men and women are in transit than ever before since Vietnam or the wars preceding that.
And yes they deserve first dibs and priority service over a US merchant seaman.

I guess one of my points was/ is that in times of peace when the USO is way under funded we could help each other out. US Merchant Seaman [U]in transit[/U] could help fill the roster sheets to keep that funding going when the vets are not using it as much as they do in times of war.

Hats off to the men and women of our armed forces. And if ranting at me for putting some ideas on the table that have never been considered before makes you feel better then have at it.
I got big shoulders.

Do I think US Merchant Mariners should be able to use a USO when not [U]in transit[/U]?

Not unless invited by a service member.

If you want a place to relax and watch TV and maybe take a nap while at the airport. Try the Crowne room. If your spending that much time catching flights it should be worth the membership.

My understanding is that the USO Remus on contributions. Maybe if we made a contribution/cover charge?

[QUOTE=nuthinfancy;52979]My understanding is that the USO Remus on contributions. Maybe if we made a contribution/cover charge?[/QUOTE]

not 100% sure but i think they get both government and public funding.

I buy holiday care packages and phone cards directly to the USO for distribution.

must investigate this crowne room.

domestic and international airports?

I think it mostly boils down to the fact that I would never want to infringe on active duty persons unless they wanted us there, too much respect for them, and I wouldn’t place myself anywhere near the same category as they are.

The one argument as far as the government in general should be that while we pay full U.S. taxes, we get only a fraction of the benefits that normal members of society get while we’re at sea for half the year or more. I would rather see subsidies for better communications aboard ships so mariners could email, speak on the phone, etc. to their families without bandwidth difficulties and limited phones/internet connections. The military has successfully made the same arguments, and though the system isn’t perfect yet, they are working on it.

Are you fucking KIDDING me

[QUOTE=floyd84s;53906]Are you fucking KIDDING me

[/QUOTE]
Thanks for the thoughtful, insightful and helpful post.

[QUOTE=seadog6608;53927]Thanks for the thoughtful, insightful and helpful post.[/QUOTE]

yeah i’m gonna spend some time following that link.

but anyone who tries to milk this, IN MY OPINION - CHAPS my ass.

I would think that airport workers would see them all the time? Maybe not.

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