20 NOV 2020
Just days after Veterans day (11TH NOV) the US Navy released this video via YouTube and all its social media channels thanking US Merchant Mariners for their service to the nation.
“Merchant Mariners have been essential to American economic prosperity since the founding of our nation.” the video says. “In support of our national defense it is our Merchant Mariners who sail the ships with fuel, supplies, and combat equipment that enable our forces to operate globally. Military Sealift Command, employs more than 5,000 merchant mariners to operate our core fleet, with hundreds more employed on contract operated ships.”
While this may seem like just another promotional navy video, it is in fact a BIG DEAL. The US Merchant Marine is always on the front line of any battle, suffered the highest casualty rate in WWII, and is absolutely essential to national defense yet we are rarely recognized for our service, and many wonder if Merchant Mariners are even veterans ?
In my keynote speech during the 2019 American Merchant Marine Veterans association conference, I explore why WWII US Merchant Marine Veterans and many Merchant Navy Allies are still fighting TODAY for recognition… and why I believe this video is an important first step in thanking our US Merchant Mariners and Military Sealift Command sailors.