A handful of western-region AMMV members attended a maritime stakeholders meeting with Rep. John Garamendi, held on September 17th at California State University Maritime Academy. (Rep. Garamendi introduced H.R. 5879: The WWII Merchant Mariner Congressional Gold Medal Act and also met with our ‘Storm the Hill’ gang back in May.) During the morning introductions, Garamendi surprised all attending WWII Merchant Mariners with Congressional Commendation certificates.Present were participants from across the U.S. maritime community. Many key topics were touched upon, the most important being the Jones Act. Following the initial meeting was a luncheon sponsored by the Propeller Club of Northern California. Afterwards, Rep. Garamendi received the “Champion of Maritime” award from the American Maritime Partnership. It was critical that AMMV was well represented, both to show our support for current maritime issues and to hopefully keep the WWII MM Gold Medal legislation near the top of the congressman’s agenda. Representing our organization were AMMV News Editor Sindy Raymond, AMMV Region #8 Vice President Larry Starn, Michael Hoge (North Bay Mariners Chapter); AMMV National Vice President Christian Yuhas, Frank Mendez, Robert Ulrich, Bill Fairfield, Harold Wagner (Golden Gate Chapter); and AMMV National Treasurer John Pitts (Member-at-Large).