Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Welcome Home, boys, TSA "Interrogates" our soldiers.


As the Chalk Leader for my flight home from Afghanistan , I witnessed the following:

When we were on our way back from Afghanistan , we flew out of Baghram Air Field. We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all of our bags searched, the whole nine yards.
Our first stop was Shannon , Ireland to refuel. After that, we had to
stop at Indianapolis , Indiana to drop off about 100 folks from the
Indiana National Guard. That's where the stupid started.

First, everyone was forced to get off the plane-even though the plane
wasn't refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than
let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to
a holding area. No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a
male/female latrine.

It's probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons.
Everyone was carrying an M 4 Carbine and some, like me, were also
carrying an M 9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240 B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren't loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.

The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload
all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it re-inspected.
Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a
one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area,
the TSA decided not to re-inspect our Cargo - just to inspect us again:
Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected,
re-inspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.

This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were
carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying

So we're in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had
his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it
gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a
pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the soldier that
they're going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went
something like this:

TSA Guy: You can't take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I've had them since we left country on the way over.

TSA Guy: You're not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a
weapon. And I'm allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah but you can't use it to take over the plane. You don't
have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the
f__k out of here. I'll buy you a new set.

Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]

To top it off, the TSA demanded we all be swabbed for "explosive
residue" detection. Everyone failed, [go figure, we just came home from
a war zone], because we tested positive for "Gun Powder Residue". Who
the f__k is hiring these people?

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233
people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine
guns - but nothing that could have been used as a 'weapon'.

Can someone please tell me what the hell happened to OUR country while we were gone?

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