Petition for 'Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II sign now

Please accept this petition asking members of Congress to support H.R. 3729 (aka "Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2004") would provide a monthly benefit of $1,000 to each veteran of the WWII Merchant Marines or their surviving spouses or children, equally divided.

H.R. 3729 Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2004: To provide veteran benefits to certain individuals who serve in the United States Merchant Marine during a period of war. Introduced by Congressman Bob Filner of California.

H.R. 3729: To amend title 46, United States Code, to provide a monthly monetary benefit to certain individuals who served in the United States Merchant Marine and Army Transport Service during World War II. The bill would provide $1,000 per month to World War II mariners or their widows.

These services were part of the World War II Armed Forces who were responsible for the Supply and Logistics that supplied U.S. and Allied Forces.

During World War II, mariners delivered troops and vital supplies to all fronts and took part in all invasions from Normandy to Iwo Jima. It took up to 15 tons of supplies to support one soldier for one year, and so the availability of merchant shipping was the most critical factor in Allied military planning.

Merchant ships faced danger from submarines, mines, armed raiders and destroyers, aircraft, "kamikaze," and the elements. Mariners suffered the highest rate of casualties of any service, with 1 in 26 killed, while the ratio for all other services combined was 1 in 55 killed.

The need for mariners was so desperate, the recruiting age for the official training organization, the U.S. Maritime Service, was dropped to 16 years old.

When he signed the GI Bill in 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt stated: "I trust Congress will soon provide similar opportunities to members of the merchant marine who have risked their lives time and time again during war for the welfare of their country."

But President Roosevelt died, and Congress failed to pass a similar bill for mariners, because of opposition by powerful lobbying groups who spread irresponsible rumors and lies.

Mariners were denied the following benefits which other services received:

52 weeks unemployment benefit at $20 per week
Free college education, which led to higher earning capacity during their lifetime
Low-interest, low-down-payment home loans
Disability benefits for life (mariners who were totally disabled received a maximum of $7,500)
Veteran Affairs medical benefits for life
Job preferences for veterans
Priority for small business loans
Shopping savings at PX (post exchange)
Mustering out pay
Priority for purchase of surplus government equipment
World War II mariners, many of whom were high school dropouts, never recovered economically from the sacrifices they made for their country.

Mariners were "First to Go and Last to Return," with 240 killed before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and countless numbers killed after V-E and V-J Day due to mines.

H.R. 3729 will, in some small measure, help make up for these inequalities.

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Latest Signatures

  • 05 January 2016947. Charity D
    I support this petition
  • 05 January 2016946. Jane S
    I support this petition
  • 25 December 2015945. Leigh Hortona
    I support this petition
  • 20 December 2015944. Christine Markunasr
    This is an overdue action for a heroic group of men; these guys experienced some of the greatest wartime risks with the least amount of gratitude expressed to them for their patriotic service.
  • 18 December 2015943. Kristin O
    I support this petition
  • 12 December 2015942. Patricia O
    My father was aboard the Lake Osweya when she was sunk on Feb 20, 1942. All we were ever told is that all hands were missing and presumed dead. I've only recently learned the facts - through the internet. This is just another example of how these brave me
  • 11 December 2015941. Eugene Ew
    I was a Merchant Marine in the Pacific during WWII.
  • 07 December 2015940. May Dec
    Please act on this bill soon. My father is so old to wait longer. Thank you for you kind consideration.
  • 07 December 2015939. Robert H
    I support this petition
  • 06 December 2015938. Milan Jp
    I support this petition
  • 03 December 2015937. Nonie Y
    I support this petition
  • 23 November 2015936. Jill P
    This is long past due and an embarassing oversight.
  • 18 November 2015935. Margaret Mg
    I support this petition
  • 13 November 2015934. Dolores M
    I support this petition
  • 08 November 2015933. Louis P
    I support this petition
  • 30 October 2015932. Terry P
    My Father also served in the Merchant Marine and received no sign of gratitude.
  • 28 October 2015931. Michelle R
    My father passed away. Hopefully this bill provides for his spouse, who is almost 90.
  • 23 October 2015930. Andrew N
    I support this petition
  • 20 October 2015929. Ryan Ch
    My Grandfather, Great-grandfather,Great-grandmother and two great-uncles, all from one family served during WWII and I believe they served proudly and made the supreme sarifice that was necessary and now, after 60 years of neglect, This country owes them
  • 14 October 2015928. Norita Bh
    My husband as well as four other members of his family, (father, mother and three brothers) served during WWII and they made the supreme sacrifice with one brother lost to a German U-boat sinking right here in our back yard, just 9 miles off the Virginia
  • 11 October 2015927. Mary Ks
    The merchant marines were brave & unrecognized for too long. This would help the few remaining or their widows or widowers.
  • 11 October 2015926. Helen R
    support all our troups
  • 11 October 2015925. Cynthia Fr
  • 10 October 2015924. Jack Es
    push to get signed into law
  • 09 October 2015923. Peter N
    For all they gave and for their unswerving devotion to this country, they deserve this and more.
  • 08 October 2015922. Leroy Vinsond
    I support this petition
  • 07 October 2015921. Michael Jr
    My dad is 83 and has Alzheimer's. He sure could use the money.

browse all the signatures


Herminia BowenBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
Congressman Bob Filner


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