Dangerous Liquid Cargo Course
Extension of deadlines for applications due to government shutdown.
The USCG has issued Policy Letter (No. 11-15) describing policy and forthcoming regulations allowing certain mariners without a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to acquire and renew a Merchant Mariner Credential. A more detailed description of the changes and how they affect individual mariners is available on the National Maritime Site.
It's Past Time Honor the World War II Seafaring Merchant Mariner Veterans
As many seafarers know, the United States Merchant Mariners played a heroic role in World War II. These seamen undertook the most dangerous missions in the fight against fascism -- carrying supplies to war fronts around the world. Fighting bombs from above and torpedoes from below, they suffered the highest casualty rates of any branch of the military effort. They gave their lives at over twice the death rate among soldiers in the Army and four times that of the Navy.
Although Roosevelt promised the Merchant Marines full veterans' benefits, and the postwar Congress officially classified them, and retroactively, as veterans, these forgotten heroes passed the rest of their lives without seeing a dime of pension. Only 4,500 of these veteran seamen are still alive; they're now in their nineties, and we're losing at least one a day. They have lived with a broken heart that their country never honored their courage and service. Melvin Rogow, a 92-year-old veteran who survived dozens of missions and a torpedo of his ship, reflects, “Every time we lose another guy, I hurt to think that they died without receiving their appreciation from the country they served. Sometimes it seems like they’re just waiting for the rest of us to go.”
Past efforts to right this wrong have been stalled in Congress. But there is hope for a new bill -- HR-563, the "Honoring Our WWII Merchant Mariners Act of 2015 -- that would give each of the surviving veterans a one-time payment. Passage of the bill depends on a groundswell of popular support. Joining that campaign is Charles Mills, another vet and lifetime seaman. Mills promises, “I have been a fighter all my maritime life to find ways to improve conditions for Merchant Seaman and will continue to do so until I cross the bar.”
These seafaring veterans of the 'greatest generation' have been waiting 70 years for their pension. If you want to lend a hand, to ensure that our country finally thank these men in their waning months and years, ask your Congressperson TODAY to support the HR-563, at: https://www.change.org/p/ww2-merchant-marine-vets-have-been-waiting-60-yrs-for-veterans-benefits. [Note: After you enter your name and address, there is an optional box to say why you're signing. Feel free to mention your connection to the Crawford Nautical School.] Then send on this article or the URL to your family and friends.