AN INVITATION TO CO-SPONSOR H.R. 23,
TO HONOR THE MERCHANT MARINERS OF WOLRD WAR II

Dear Colleague:

During the 111th Congress, the “Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act” garnered the support of 168 co-sponsors.  Since so many of these brave men are dying every day, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs agreed on a modified version of H.R. 23 which would still provide monthly payments to these veterans but would funding them through appropriations over a 5-year period.  This version was passed unanimously by the full House by voice vote, but the Senate did not schedule it for consideration. Therefore, I am re-introducing this important bill. The number remains the same, H.R. 23-- I hope it will enjoy your support.

As you know, Merchant Mariners were an integral part of our victory in World War II.  They suffered the highest casualty rate of any of the branches of service while delivering troops, tanks, food, airplanes, fuel and other needed supplies to every theater of the war.  Without the services of the Merchant Mariners, it would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to have won World War II.

Unfortunately, they were denied any benefits under the GI Bill of Rights.  The Merchant Mariners became the forgotten service.  It wasn’t until 1988, after protracted court battles that they were given any benefits and, even then, they did not receive the benefits of many portions of the GI Bill.  H.R. 23 would provide a modest payment for the 40-plus years of lost benefits which denied many of them the opportunity to attain a degree, obtain a home loan, or receive compensation for their service-connected injuries like other WWII veterans.
 
Please support the Merchant Mariners by co-sponsoring H.R. 23!  To sign on to H.R. 23, you may contact Jian Zapata.

 

Sincerely,
                       
BOB FILNER
Ranking Democratic Member