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Hon. Corrine Brown

Hon. Corrine Brown, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

I want to thank Chairman Filner for fighting for the rights of the Merchant Mariners.

I am reminded of the words of the first President of the United States, George Washington, whose words are worth repeating at this time:

``The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country.''

The Merchant Mariners of WWII, a volunteer, civilian military corps, served honorably in combat during WWII, but were denied any veterans benefits or recognition at the end of battle despite sustaining tremendous casualties amongst its ranks.

This branch, the first Navy of the United States, has served in peace and in every war since 1775.

I am pleased the many, many Merchant Mariners who have called my office over the past few years are getting the recognition they deserve.

I look forward to hearing the testimony of the witnesses here today and am pleased to support this legislation.

I urge the committee to forward this bill to the floor as soon as possible.