By Misha DiBono
SAN DIEGO, California (KSWB) — An active duty Marine confined to a wheelchair after losing both legs to an improvised explosive device claimed he was humiliated by the Transportation Security Administration.
According to a tersely written letter by US Congressman Duncan Hunter to the head of The Transportation Security Administration, several Camp Pendleton Marines returning to San Diego from Arizona on March 13 were treated with disrespect.
In the letter, Mr. Hunter, wrote, “with numerous TSA officers sitting around and unwilling to assist, an officer made him remove his legs, then put them back on, only to advance to a second screening location where he was asked to stand again with extraordinary difficulty while they examined his wheelchair.”
Marla Knox is a recreational therapist and works with wounded military members at Naval Medical Center, where these Marines are in treatment. Part of Balboa’s community re-integration program is taking injured Marines back into the real world.
“When you lose the capability to walk it does present a tremendous challenge physically and mentally,” said Knox. “Sometimes it’s embarrassment for service members because everyone’s looking, staring and how they translate those thoughts to something as simple as getting on plane is tremendous challenge.”
Naval Medical Center has no comment on the incident in Phoenix.
According to the TSA’S website, they work to “facilitate the screening of wounded service members with dignity and respect.”
Late Tuesday, the TSA issued a statement saying they are “learning more about the situation, and in the coming days will expand the wounded warrior screening program.”