Decorated, wounded Marine treated ‘shamefully’ by security screeners

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Our soldiers subjected to insane rules by TSA. Photo courtesy of Patricia Martin.

Our soldiers subjected to insane rules by TSA. Photo courtesy of Patricia Martin.

Military Times: Wearing the uniform of the Few and Proud doesn’t rate preferential treatment from the Transportation Security Administration or California capitol security officers, retired Marine Cpl. Nathan Kemnitz recently found.

Kemnitz, severely injured in 2004 in a roadside bomb attack in Fallujah, has limited use of his right arm and cannot lift it above his head. So when security guards at the state capitol building in Sacramento, Calif., asked him to remove his dress blue blouse “because he was wearing too much metal,” and TSA asked him to raise his arms above his head for the full-body scanner at Sacramento International Airport, he could not comply.

“My right arm doesn’t work. It’s a lot of hassle for me to do that,” Kemntiz said. At the state capitol, the Marine’s refusal to remove his uniform top grew into a heated exchange between Kemnitz, a friend who was accompanying him and security officers.

At the airport, bystanders stared as the TSA security screener looked under Kemnitz’s medals, ran his hands under the Marine’s waistband and swabbed his shoes for explosives.

“What does a uniform and heroism represent if our own citizens — in this case employees of the TSA and security personnel — have no regard for them?” wrote Kemnitz’s escort, Patricia Martin, to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki following the incidents.

Martin took photos and disseminated them to family, friends and members of the media. “I feel so strongly that you need to know just how shamefully even a Purple Heart recipient/disabled veteran can be treated by some TSA and security employees,” she said.

Kemnitz said after the incidents that he was not as annoyed with TSA officers as he was with a security screener at the California state capitol, whom he described as rude and unapologetic.

Kemnitz was visiting the building to be honored as his legislative district’s veteran of the year. “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.

The incident was not the first to spark similar outrage. In January, NBC journalist Luke Russert tweeted his irritation at an enhanced security screening at Reagan National Airport of a troop wearing a prosthetic. “Making Wounded Warriors with prosthetic legs go through extra explosives screening. #fail,” Russert wrote.

In March, bystanders notified Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., about what they perceived to be maltreatment of a double amputee by TSA screeners at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport.

Concurrent with that incident, TSA announced it had changed its rules to eliminate a requirement that injured troops remove their shoes, jackets or hats. But to receive the expedited service, TSA asks affected personnel to call the agency’s Military Severely Injured Joint Service Operations Center before traveling.

TSA also offers escorted “curb-to-gate service” for injured or ill personnel who request it as well as the TSA Pre program to service members with a military common access card at four airports: Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport.

The Senate Sergeant-At-Arms is responsible for security screenings at the California capitol building. No one was available Friday to speak with the media regarding the incident.

Absolutely disgusting that TSA treats our soldiers this way.


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0 responses to “Decorated, wounded Marine treated ‘shamefully’ by security screeners

  1. I have a better idea, not that anyone in this (or any other?) administration would like it.

    SHUT DOWN THE TSA COMPLETELY! And then take the eight billion dollars plus per year that will be saved and put it back in the hands of the taxpayers where it belongs!

    These people are not even officers of the law yet are allowed to roam our highways making unlawful stops of citizens? They are in the same place doing the training for the exact scenario that unfolded in Boston and were unable to stop it? Either they are completely incompetent or totally complicit in these actions! Either way, the TSA has GOT TO GO AWAY!

  2. When the gov’t starts questioning decorated vets such as this young man , what in the fudge are they afraid of ? We know the answer !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Unionized left/liberal bureaucracy = taxpayer-supported stupidity.

  4. I wish people would just stop flying. The TSA would disappear overnight.

    • It is highly doubtful. What would happen is that the Taxpayer subsidies to the airlines would be increased to encompass even this madness. That way, even those who refuse to participate in their madness can still pay for it and be held accountable by it.

  5. PS: I think it’s clear that the left hates the US military.

  6. The scum of the earth, just like the police are getting the whole government thinks that we work for them, we need to remind them, and put a few of them away for good! Semper Fi.

  7. Ver are your papers!!

  8. TSA = Terminally Stoopid A$$holes.

    One day, one of these functionally illiterate TSA goobers is going to pick on the wrong Marine.

    And when it happens, I hope somebody gets it on video.

    Should be fun to watch. 🙂


  9. The TSA is nothing but a club of thugs hired by Obama.

  10. And thanks to Tom Daschle, they are all goonion members.

    -Which makes it almost impossible to fire them.


  11. Just looking at this picture tears my heart apart….our Marine, dressed in full uniform, being man-handled by a goon while standing near the American flag. Freedom my arse…

  12. This makes me weep….

  13. Not to try to hijack this thread but while it does not make me weep, it does remind me of one thing from when I was younger!


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