They Also Served: Coast Guard and Merchant Marine

The often-neglected branch of the armed forces is the Coast Guard. Formally established in 1915, the service can trace its origins to 1790. During wartime, the men and women of the Coast Guard have served under the Navy; now it is part of the Department of Homeland Security. The men who served with the Merchant Marine during World War II, hauling precious cargo around the world, pulled the most dangerous duty during that war. But veterans’ status and benefits were denied the Mariners until 1988.