On a recent to trip to Sacramento, CA to be honored as his legislative district’s veteran of the year, U.S. Marine Cpl. Nathan Kemnitz (ret.) was asked to remove his dress shirt–covered in medals–during a TSA check before a flight.
Fox News reports the Purple Heart recipient was also pressed to raise his right arm over his head by TSA workers. This is something Kemnitz cannot do without great discomfort because of injuries sustained from a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2004.
Speaking to Military Times, Kemnitz said, “At some places I’m treated like royalty and at some like a terrorist. There’s got to be something in the middle.”
When TSA was contacted about the way Kemnitz was treated by workers at Sacramento International Airport, spokesman Ross Feinstein said:
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.
As to why Kemnitz was asked to take off his dress shirt, Feinstein said TSA workers have to “resolve any anomaly detected at the checkpoint.” He said “wounded warriors, members of the military and veterans” are “required to place their carry-on items on the conveyor belt and in bins prior to passing through a metal detector or an advanced imaging technology unit.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.