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Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, May 12, 2009, Bob Filner (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, announced that the United States House of Representatives approved H.R. 23, the Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2009. The bill would establish a Merchant Mariner Equity Compensation Fund and allow qualifying Merchant Mariners to receive monthly payments of $1,000 out of that fund.
Chairman Filner stated, “I have been fighting for more than a decade to provide Merchant Mariners of WWII the thanks they deserve for their forgotten service – not just in words, but in deeds. This Congress is once again on the precipice of correcting a grave injustice heaped upon the gallant men of the Merchant Marine of World War II. These heroes were not granted veteran status until 40 years after the War. We are here today to rectify the improper denial of G.I. Bill benefits and to find a way to compensate them, more than 60 years later, for their heroic deeds.”
H.R. 23, as amended – The Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2009 (Filner)
This bill establishes in the Treasury the Merchant Mariner Equity Compensation Fund for payments by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs of a monthly benefit of $1,000 to each individual who, between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946, was a documented member of the U.S. merchant marine (including the Army Transport Service and the Naval Transport Service).
The bills will next be considered by the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
Too bad so many did not live to see this day, but better late than never to be acknowledged for their service. Thank you for posting this.