A Letter from Brian Herbert

We would not be a free nation today if the men of the United States Merchant Marine had not served so bravely during World War II, delivering military supplies and millions of troops to war zones overseas. In one of the greatest injustices of American history, these valiant men -- who suffered more losses than any of our armed forces -- received no military benefits after the war, no GI Bill to help them with such critical necessities as medical care and loans for education, homes, and businesses.

These heroic survivors are in their eighties now, and are desperately in need of benefits. You can help in two ways:

  1. Notify your US Congressional Representative that you want him or her to support H.R. 23, the Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World Ware II Act of 2005. If this bill passes, each eligible veteran or surviving spouse would receive a monthly benefit of $1,000. We now have 167 Representatives supporting this bill, but we need more than 220 votes to pass the bill.

    You can call toll free to (877) 762-8762, the Congressional switchboard in Washington, D.C. Ask to speak with your Congressman by name. For example:

    "Please connect me with Congressman Patrick Kennedyıs office." Whoever answers, ASK FOR THE PERSON IN CHARGE OF VETERAN'S AFFAIRS. Then voice your support for H.R. 23.

  3. Notify your U.S. Senator that you would like to have a companion bill introduced in the Senate. Currently, no Senators have signed on the help the U.S. Merchant Marine.

Because I am so passionate about this just cause, I have written a detailed history of the U.S. Merchant Marine in The Forgotten Heroes.

For additional information, contact the Co-Chairmen of the U.S. Merchant Marine Just Compensation Committee, Ian T. Allison (800) 545-4173 or Henry Van Gemert (941) 722-1194.

Please do whatever you can to help these men in their time of need, just as they helped this country in our time of greatest national peril. Thank you.

--Brian Herbert
  April 22, 2005


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