Maloney announces bill to pay Korean War POWs for imprisonment time

Posted: Updated:
CORNWALL -

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney announced legislation that would eliminate the three-month limit on combat pay eligibility for Korean War POWs, allowing the veterans to be paid for the full time they were imprisoned.

Cpl. Raymond Mellin, of Cornwall, was 19 and a battlefield medic when he became a prisoner during the Korean War.

Mellin was held captive for 37 months and saw a fellow soldier shot in the head, but he only received combat pay for three months.

Mellin says for him, the legislation is not about the money but about honoring the sacrifices of prisoners of war, especially those who never made it back home.

“We ended up in our prison camp with a little over 700 men, and 65 percent of them died there. Those are the people we are honoring today. Not me. I am not a hero, I am a survivor,” he says.

Maloney says the pay will be indexed to inflation so it would represent what the veterans should be paid in current dollars.

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