July 11, 2013 10:20 am ET
Where were our political leaders when an injured veteran was mistreated?
Every now and then, a story comes along that absolutely makes my blood boil—the type of story that makes me want to shout with all my might about how unjust this world can be.
However, this blog is not one of those stories. Unfortunately, it is much, much worse. It almost defies the imagination and all common sense, which is something that our government seems to thrive on lately. Even Hollywood could not make this stuff up but yes folks, – it happened!
OK, I understand that you want to know what happened. Sorry for dragging out the suspense.
A retired U.S. Marine, Cpl. Nathan Kemnitz, was traveling to the California state capitol building in Sacramento. Cpl. Kemnitz was in full uniform with his medals proudly displayed, as he was set to receive the legislative district’s Veteran of the Year Award (you’ll notice the irony shortly). Seems like a perfectly good story, doesn’t it?
Well here is where it gets worse.
As Cpl. Kemnitz was going through security, some of the TSA’s gooney bird agents (my words) stopped him for a special screening that required him to raise his arms above his head. The only problem: Cpl. Kemnitz was seriously wounded in Iraq and has limited use of his right arm. (The large Purple Heart on his uniform should have been a clue, don’t you think?) So, he explained that he could not lift his arm to comply, at which time he was asked to take off his dress shirt. Again, not an easy task for a wounded veteran with the use of only one arm.
(Just wait, there’s more.)
All of this fuss begs the question, “Why was Cpl. Kemnitz singled out by the TSA?” The answer, which disgusts me, is that he had too much metal on his person. Apparently, all of those medals—meritorious symbols of service to this great country of ours—raised alarms for the airport screeners, who don’t realize what the medals stand for or why they should distinguish the wearer rather than make him a target for scrutiny.
So, Cpl. Kemnitz—on his way to be honored for his service—was detained in airport security to the point where the TSA agents even swabbed his shoes for explosives.
I can’t even believe I just wrote that.
And yet, it gets worse.
After all of this came to light, the TSA provided such a lame response from another government official who never heard of the words common sense and accountability. FOX News provided this response from the TSA:
“TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein said in a statement Monday that “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.”
I’m sorry, did I miss the part where Cpl. Kemnitz was given special screening procedures? What, did they give him a comfy chair to sit in when they swabbed his shoes or something?
Given today’s state of affairs (scandals included), I truly believe that it has now become a common practice (as well as a government requirement) to be brain dead when addressing a situation by attempting to either cover it up or completely sidestep the issue.
And, what is even more sickening is the fact that this was not the only time the TSA has done something like this.
Why couldn’t Mr. Feinstein just man up and admit fault on behalf of his agents? I recognize that his statement couldn’t go so far as to fire or severely reprimand those responsible for this reprehensible behavior (though they would deserve it), but that lame statement shows that there seem to be no government officials willing to accept responsibility for anything.
Meanwhile, where were our elected officials during and after all of this? We know that they have plenty to say on other matters, so why not speak out now?
Once again, the silence is deafening.