Decorated Wounded Marine Abused By Government Security Screeners

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Cpl. Nathan Kemnitz, a Marine who earned a Purple Heart due to injuries sustained when blown up by a roadside bomb in 2004, traveled in California earlier in the year to be honored as his legislative district’s veteran of the year.

Credit: Patricia Martin

But the decorated war veteran learned during his trip that the sacrifices he has made for his Nation mean nothing to government employees instructed to view every citizen as a terror threat.

“At some places I’m treated like royalty and at some like a terrorist. There’s got to be something in the middle,” Kermnitz told Military Times.

Passing through a security checkpoint at the California State Capitol, Kermnitz was instructed to remove his dress blue blouse “because he was wearing too much metal” to be screened to enter the building. An argument ensued between the wounded war vet, a friend and the security screener at the government building.

During the same trip, Kermnitz was told by Transportation Security Administration officials at the Sacramento International Airport that he would need to raise his arms above his head in order to pass through a full-body scanner. Unfortunately, the injuries he sustained from the roadside bomb in Fallujah, Iraq, forced him to refuse the TSA request.

Kermnitz, who was deployed to Iraq in 2004, was injured by enemy explosives a month before he was set to leave. The blast sent shrapnel flying into his face, damaged nerves and permanently injured his arm.

“My right arm doesn’t work. It’s a lot of hassle for me to do that,” Kemntiz said.

Those who were with Kermnitz at the time of the abusive screenings have spoken out against the government security workers’ mistreatment of wounded war veterans.

“What does a uniform and heroism represent if our own citizens — in this case employees of the TSA and security personnel — have no regard for them?” wrote Patricia Martin, veterans services coordinator at Pasadena City College in a letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Martin told the New York Daily News on Tuesday that security screeners fail to employ critical thinking skills when it comes to screening wounded warriors.

“Ask for a military ID, pull him aside — but don’t degrade him in front of everyone,” she said.

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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  • independent thinker

    “What does a uniform and heroism represent if our own citizens — in this case employees of the TSA and security personnel — have no regard for them?”
    It represents NOTHING to them just like the rest of the peons (or is it pee-ons) mean nothing to them.
    Remember all vets are potential terrorists, after all Janet N said so and every word from her mouth has to be true because obama approves of her.

    • podunk1

      Everyone has legislators. It’s time to change the game & respect citizens first. It shouldn’t take more than a 25 IQ to be able to put decorated vets in an ID list that says “take damn good care of them in any airport of government facility”… or you’re FIRED! If your legislator can’t make it happen fire them!

      In Dec. 2012 the BLS had 12.5Million unemployed, 6.4M wanting a job, 6.9M* scrubbed from Obama’s “workforce” for 25.8 million jobless. If the 142.5 million reported as working 34.4hr work-weeks were working 40/hr weeks there is another 23.2M equivalent jobless because of the new part time economy! With up to 49 million needing jobs, our pathological government is about to honor 11 to 30 million illegal aliens with CITIZENSHIP! — people who have been actively engaged in invasion of the US, tax fraud & evasion, ID theft, etc. Stuff that gets citizens jailed, assets seized, businesses padlocked, & worse.

  • IBCAMN

    you must remember that these TSA jackholes get a thrill of power over every person that walks through their gate(except arab’s,they don’t check them at all).
    it’s like a cop with the GOD complex,same thing-control-and it gives them a thrill!
    and each day they have to do much worse things to you to get that thrill!
    it just gets steadaly worse for us every day just so they can get a thrill!!(think about it,from when all this started with TSA till now)

  • txbadonetoo

    I love how our government hides behind “but it’s illegal to logically target certain people – ie., 18 – 30 year old Muslim males” but it’s OK for the NSA to collect all of our emails and phone calls – which is beyond ignorance/abuse of the 4th Amendment. So this hero for America – and some grandmother from Idaho get harrased by TSA staff while they almost refuse to touch any Muslim woman in a hijab or any Muslim male for fear of offending them.. and let’s not forget the 4 year old child separated from her parents for a strip search..
    It disgusts me how our Government picks and chooses how it wants to enforce AND NOT enforce laws. Dream Act by edict of Obama – illegal. Delaying Corporate compliance with ObamaCare by edict of Obama – Iillegal. Not deporting non criminal illegal aliens by edict of Obama – illegal.
    Until the American people AND Congress demand that Obama and his minions obey and enforce existing laws this will just continue.

  • skippy

    more pathetic treatment of citizens. Sorry Cpl that such idiots are in the position of being called ‘security screener’….what a joke. How about we throw out all the useless idiots and hire VETS for that position? Seems there are plenty available for work…and I’m pretty darn sure they could spot a ‘terrorist’.

  • Glen Welch

    Just another example of how our nation treats its military veterans. Here in Leavenworth, Kansas, service disabled veterans need not apply at the Veterans Administration for employment – their union agreement trumps federal law and allows them to prioritize current, non-veteran employees over veterans. Seems a travesty to me.

  • Chester

    I can see where TSA actually has to try to guarantee that the man in that uniform belongs in it. Those uniforms, and those medals, are available all over the place. All it takes to dress the part of a multiply decorated serviceman, or woman, is a bit of money and a little time. How do YOU decide which guy in a green, or in his case, blue, uniform, actually is what he claims?

    • Carl-Cathy Wisnesky

      As the last sentence of the article stated:, “Ask for a military ID, pull him aside — but don’t degrade him in front of everyone.” All we are asking for is common courtesy, kindness, & respect as a fellow human being.

    • justus brother

      Chester! Mr. Dillon is calling you. Time to get your horse and go for a ride in the country.

    • trugrits

      But it is okay for TSA to allow a Muslim to go through without inspection because it is against their religion. Chester you are a perfect example of brainwashed thinking. HMM who was it that crashed those planes? Was it by children? Was it by American veterans? Were they natural born citizens?

      I refuse to fly anymore because I refuse to have my rights ignored as I am being profiled as a possible terrorist so I can be searched illegally. This is all just more control by the socialist government. They want to make this the norm so when the SHTF people will be accustomed to being in a gestapo controlled life.

      • Chester

        If they are passing ANYONE through without screening, that person should be pulled out for double screening, then put on a question list, and I am talking about the screener, not the person he passed through.

    • Ol504troop

      There is this little thing that ALL military personnel have called, appropriately enough, a “Military ID”.

      • Chester

        All active duty personnel, yes, but unless this young man was lucky enough to be given a medical retirement, he will have NO military ID, active OR retired. The most he will have will be a state ID card with, again, if he is lucky, veteran or possibly disabled veteran on it. A LOT of states don’t give those out, and you have to almost pull teeth to get a disabled vet license plate. Usually, a disabled vet is simply given a medical discharge, then turned over to the VA for any further treatment.

        • ChiefBoring

          Retired military people have a retired military ID. A Marine with those injuries is retired.

          • Chester

            Chief, I wish you were right, but far too many just get a medical discharge, then are turned over to the VA. As I said earlier, if this young man was extremely lucky, he got a medical retirement, but that takes money, which is something the Pentagon tries their very best NOT to part with, at least to troops who are no longer serviceable.

          • ChiefBoring

            Chester, I retired 33 years ago, so, sadly, on second thought, I agree with your statement. Its’ a shame; a Marine with those injuries SHOULD be retired. Thanks for edifying and correcting me. Chief Boring

          • Chester

            Chief, my apologies to you, at least, as after some rather extensive digging on my part, it is a distinct possibility that he is on the permanent disabled retired list. Have seen too much of what the army does, and it DOESN’T follow Navy rules. My time in was four years during the time no one wanted to admit existed. 63-67, all west coast and west pac.

          • ChiefBoring

            Thanks for the follow-up. I surely hope someone is looking after him. And thanks for your service. I remember those days, especially after Kennedy went down. We suited up for the Tonkin Gulf, but stayed in Japan. Later got to Okinawa and the Philippines, then to the Med. Fair winds and following seas. We have a nephew, an Air Policeman, who just went to Kuwait. May he keep his head down.

    • Ted Crawford

      As was pointed out in the article, even if we agree that they need to be certain that he is, who he said he was, it could and should have been done in a more private setting and with a reasonable amount of respect!

  • Bill T

    When you’re to stupid to make it in any other job, the TSA will be proud to employ you. I’ve had my run-in with the TSA and if there is anyway possible of not flying, I wont. So far, I’ve driven where ever I’ve had to go. My run-in – The TSA agents english was so bad, I could not understand her. when I continually asked her to repeat so I could understand, I was told by a supervisor if I did not comply I would be arrested. The supervisor finally translated so I could understand. I’m sure there has to be some “on the ball” TSA agents, but the vast majority are ignorant, stupid DF’s.

    • Ted Crawford

      AKA: Typical Public Sector Union Members!

  • trugrits

    People fear someday this country will be taken over by a socialist style government. Wake up! It already has been taken over. People really think the news media is going to report this?
    This right here proves people in the armed services are not fighting for this country. They are fighting wars for the powers that run our government. Our government does not give a crap about us, only about their own power and greed.
    Why are people standing for it? Because the American citizens are afraid of this government. How many laws have been passed recently that enable us to be thrown in jail or disappear for speaking against the establishment? NDAA ring a bell to anyone? People really think we needed this act of treason. It is treason by very definition.

  • JustMe

    Just like the Nazi guards during WWII, the TSA agents should be tried for violating the rights of citizens and crimes against the constitution. The guards were hung or served looong sentences in prisions.

    Might be fitting for all TSA members.