With Veteran's Day approaching, this is a good time to express appreciation to our wartime mariners. General MacArthur said "I hold no branch in higher esteem than the Merchant Marine service."
These unsung heroes of WWII were not awarded veteran status until 1988 and 1998. World War II mariners suffered the highest casualty rate of any of the branches of the service while they delivered troops, tanks, airplanes and fuel in every theatre of war. These veterans, or their suvivors, might consider applying for veteran status. At the very least they can tell their grandchildren that they are "veterans of WWII" and receive a flag for their coffins and grave markers.
Susan Sam (daughter of a Merchant Marine who died in 1983), Imlay City
November 05, 2008