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U.S. Merchant Marine too often ignored



Published: Tue, June 19, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



U.S. Merchant Marinetoo often ignored

EDITOR:

In the Saturday, June 9, Vindicator, an apology was made on behalf of the American Legion Post 301 and V.F.W. Post 423, for leaving the Merchant Marines out of their program.

His apology is accepted. However, I hasten to advise all readers that this slight was only a scratch on the surface of what the members of the U.S. Merchant Marine have been subjected to since World War II. It would probably be more appropriate to classify it as a shafting than a slight.

First of all we have been shafted by experts, any major support out of Washington died with the death of President Roosevelt. We also had strong support from Winston Churchill, to the point where he credited the U.S. Merchant Marines for saving England with the supplies we delivered to them at a time of need. Most of the major generals and admirals of WW II, including MacArthur and Eisenhower, also praised our services, but it went no further than that.

To be sure there have been pockets of support throughout the country from congressmen, such as Johnny Meyer of Canton, but by and large there has been a big void.

The U.S. Merchant Marine had the highest mortality rate of any of the services, and we didn't get any of the benefits of the G.I. Bill, which included the 52-20 -- $20 a week for 52 weeks -- (sounds minuscule now but it was significant then), interest-free home loan, and fully paid college education. These benefits were equal to more than our entire paycheck throughout the war. Keep in mind that if our ship was torpedoed and sunk, our pay stopped immediately.

I believe it appropriate to advise you that the only surface sinking of a German warship in World War II was accomplished by a Merchant ship, despite the fact that the warship had hundreds of times the firepower as well as horse power for maneuverability, and had a companion ship close by.

To our fellow servicemen, who have steadfastly opposed any benefits for the Merchant Marine, I should like to remind you that those supplies that you dearly needed and in many cases saved your lives or the life of a fellow G.I. -- whether in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard -- were delivered by Merchant seamen.

These views are my personal opinions, but I am reasonably certain that they would be shared and endorsed, by all members of the Howard Brown Memorial Chapter, AMMV.

KEITH WEIBEL

Boardman

LTV retirees are suffering as managers get bonuses

EDITOR:

I am a retiree of LTV. I worked for Youngstown Sheet & amp; Tube Co. I was an inspector at the Seamless in Campbell for 30 years.

I have been reading a lot about LTV's bankruptcy.

Two of the things that helped lead LTV into the bankruptcy is that the company gave Mr. Bricker and Mr. Turner a combined total of $2.5 million in retention bonuses. They also gave over $11 million in bonuses to 109 of their key people.

Also, what they want us retirees to do is receive less in our pension checks and pay more for our insurance and receive less in benefits.

I think that Robin Hood did the opposite of what they want to do. Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. They want to take from the poor and give to the rich.

SAMUEL SHAPIRO

Youngstown




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