TSA to expedite "wounded warrior" screening after controversy over treament of Marine who lost both his legs
Two weeks after a severely disabled Marine reportedly was "humiliated" by his treatment at a Phoenix airport security checkpoint, the details remain in dispute, but the government took steps Wednesday to prevent a similar encounter from happening.
The Transportation Security Administration said it is greatly expanding a program that expedites screening for active-duty and inactive "wounded warriors," giving them the same expedited screening now available to active-duty, uniformed military personnel.Wounded warriors who call or e-mail the TSA in advance of their trips will get benefits similar to those in the TSA's PreCheck program. They will be allowed to use dedicated screening lanes where available, leave on light outerwear, belts, shoes and hats, and keep laptop computers and 3-1-1 compliant liquids in carry-on bags.
The move comes after a March 13 encounter between a small group of Marines and TSA screeners at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport sparked a spat between members of Congress and the TSA.In a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, said the incident involved an active-duty Marine who had lost both of legs to an improvised explosive device, and was in a wheelchair, with limited or no mobility. A TSA officer asked the Marine to stand or walk, Hunter wrote, "despite the fact that he physically could not stand or walk on his own."The TSA screener then made the Marine remove his prosthetic legs, only to have them put back on so he could move to another area, where he was again asked to stand so that his wheelchair could be examined, Hunter wrote.