The American Merchant Marine Veterans (AMMV) continues to call attention to the efforts performed by the men and women who have sailed – and are still sailing – U.S.-flag merchant vessels.
Formed in 1984, the organization initially focused in on the outrage of World War II mariners, who were upset that the federal government continued to ignore their requests to be considered veterans of that conflict. That battle was partially won a couple years later, but the fight for justice and recognition by these retired mariners moved on.
Today, the World War II-era mariners have been joined by others who served during the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars, as well as mariners who currently are serving as the fourth arm of defense ferrying supplies and goods all around the world.
According to AMMV President Morris Harvey, the organization has 65 chapters across the nation. Membership stands at 3,200, 800 of whom served in World War II.
Harvey listed a number of actions and issues with which the AMMV and its members and allies are involved:
- Preserving World War II legacy ships;
- Gaining recognition of the contributions that civilian mariners have made to the history of this nation, including at the National World War II Memorial and in memorials on the local level in many parks and other localities;
- Distributing literature and information to many important outlets, including Congress, schools and newspapers, to name just a few; and
- Supporting proposed policies and existing laws and statutes that would maintain a strong U.S.-flag merchant fleet including the Jones Act as well as adequate funding for maritime schools, the Maritime Security Program and the Military Sealift Command.