Members of Congress are back home in their districts celebrating Veterans Day and honoring the patriotism and sacrifices of the men and women who have served this nation.
But as Congresswoman Janice Hahn (CA-44), notes, there is one group of veterans who have gone unrecognized for too long: our Merchant Marines.
In World War II, more than 200,000 Americans answered the call of duty and joined the Merchant Marines, braving troubled seas to deliver supplies to the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific.
They faced enemy attack and suffered a casualty rate higher than any other uniformed service. Unfortunately, WWII Merchant Marine veterans were never eligible for benefits under the G.I. Bill and were long excluded from Veterans Day celebrations.
Many of these Merchant Mariners are now well into their 80s and 90s and deserve compensation.
Hahn is once again calling on lawmakers to join her in passing HR 563, legislation that will finally recognize the 5,000 surviving World War II Merchant Marine veterans and provide them with a modest payment as a token of our gratitude.
“I hope that this Veterans Day at long last, my colleagues will recognize the service and sacrifice of these heroes and join me in passing this important legislation before it is too late.”