Iraq Vet Hero Treated Like A Terrorist At Sacramento National Airport


A man was treated like a terrorist for not being able to raise his right arm in a ful-body scanner.

It turns out, this man was a wounded war veteran, and he could not raise his right arm because it was severely injured.

The man was Cpl. Nathan Kemnitz, and he was awarded a Purple Heart in 2004 after he almost died from a roadside bomb in Iraq. He recently traveled to Sacramento, California to accept another award — veteran of the year for his district.

Iraq Vet Hero Treated Like A Terrorist At Sacramento National Airport

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Even though the entire trip should have been celebratory, it was far from that. At Sacramento International Airport, he was not able to get through the security line because he was unable to life his right arm above his head. This led to security workers subjecting him to extreme screenings. He was also forced to take off his uniform.

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.”

The incident involved a TSA officer asking Kemnitz to raise his arms above his head for a full-body scanner. Kemnitz, who cannot physically do this, refused. “My right arm doesn’t work. It’s a lot of hassle for me to do that,” he said.

It was then that Kemnitz was severely violated.

TSA agents went so far as to prod him all over his body. As they searched under the metals on his body, they ran their hands under his waistband and searched his shoes for explosives.

He was also asked to remove his dress blouse because he was “wearing too much metal.”

Instead of being treated like the hero he is, Kemnitz was severely embarrassed and violated.

Patricia Martin was Kemnitz’s traveling partner. She thought the entire incident was incredibly troubling, and took photos as it was happening. “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 said.

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Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for the TSA, released a statement on 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. Transportation Security Officers have to resolve any anomaly detected at the checkpoint.”

“As is standard procedure for all passengers, if travelers alarm when passing through a metal detector or an advanced imaging technology (AIT) unit, additional screening is required in order to resolve that anomaly.”

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But the TSA agents at Sacramento International did not follow the rules. The TSA recently instated new rules relating to veterans. Injured troops are no longer required to move their shoes, jackets, or hats to get through security.

Kermitz said the thing that bothered him the most was the “rudeness” and “unapologetic” attitude he got from the TSA agent at Sacramento International.

This entire incident makes me sick. Cpl. Nathan Kemnitz is a hero, and ought to be treated like one. It’s about time we stop violating the rights of those who fought so hard for the freedoms we enjoy each day.


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