Obviously, the TSA cannot tell a terrorist from a hero. Wounded U.S. Marine and Iraq veteran was treated ‘shamefully’ because he couldn’t raise his injured arm and was ordered to take off dress uniform because it had ‘too much metal.’
UK Daily Mail A wounded war veteran has described the moment security agents treated him like a ‘terrorist’ on a recent trip to California because he couldn’t raise his injured right arm in a full-body scanner and his dress uniform contained ‘too much metal.’
Cpl. Nathan Kemnitz was awarded a Purple Heart after he almost died in 2004 from an injury incurred from a roadside bomb in Fallujah, Iraq. The brave soldier recentlytraveled to Sacramento, California to receive another award as his district’s veteran of the year.
But, what should have been a celebratory experience was tainted when suspicious security workers at both the Sacramento International Airport and the California State Capitol Buildings subjected him to intense screenings and even ordered him to take off his uniform.
Because of the injury Kemnitz suffered in the blast, he can’t lift his right arm above his head, which has made getting through security lines increasingly difficult. ‘At some places I’m treated like royalty and at some like a terrorist. There’s got to be something in the middle,’ he said.
Two recent trips through the secuirty line landed closer to the ‘terrorist’ side of treatment. When a TSA officer asked him to raise his arms above his head in a full-body scanner, he refused. ‘My right arm doesn’t work. It’s a lot of hassle for me to do that,’ Kemnitz told Military Times.
Screeners then continued to prod Kemnitz, looking under his metals, running their hands under his waistband and swabbing his shoes for explosives. His traveling partner, Patricia Martin, found the whole incident disturbing, and took pictures of the humiliating screening.
‘What does the uniform and heroism represent if our own citizens – in this case employees of the TSA and security personnel – have no regard for them?’ Martin wrote to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki about the incident.
TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein issued a statement Monday concerning the incident. ‘Our intent is to treat all injured service members and veterans with the dignity they deserve, As always, all passengers with disabilities and medical conditions are eligible for screening procedures sensitive to their particular disability, medical condition or other unique medical circumstance.