Transportation Security Administration inspectors forced a wounded Marine who lost both of his legs in an IED blast and who was in a wheelchair to remove his prosthetic legs at one point, and at another point to stand painfully on his legs while his wheelchair was examined, according to a complaint a congressman has registered with the TSA.
Rep. Duncan Hunter said in his letter Monday that the Marine, who is still on active duty and showed TSA agents his military identification, was still forced to undergo that scrutiny.
“A TSA office asked the Marine to stand and walk to an alternate area, despite the fact that he physically could not stand or walk on his own. With numerous TSA officers sitting and unwilling to assist, an officer then made him remove his legs, then put them back on, only to advance to a secondary screening location where he was asked again to stand, with extraordinary difficult, while his wheelchair was examined for explosives,” Mr. Hunter said.
He also said TSA officers initially directed the Marine to the wrong line, then made him move lines but made no effort to help him. The incident occurred at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport last week, as a group of Marines was returning to San Diego.
Mr. Hunter included two photos of the inspection in his letter that appear to show a TSA agent patting down the Marine’s arm and examining the prosthetic leg.
The congressman asked TSA to detail its procedures to inspecting wounded U.S. troops at airports, and to consider whether agents should show “situational awareness.”