Marine Embarrassed by TSA: Congressman - NBC Southern California

Marine Embarrassed by TSA: Congressman

Rep. Duncan Hunter wrote a letter to the TSA about an incident where a San Diego Marine was allegedly mistreated by security at Phoenix Airport



    A San Diego Marine was allegedly mistreated by security at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint on his flight to San Diego last week.

    Congressman Duncan Hunter wrote a letter demanding answers about the possible humiliation of wounded Marine Cpl. Toran Gaal, a double amputee assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Pendleton. He lost both his legs to an Improvised Explosive Device in Sangin Province, Afghanistan.

    Gaal and other injured Marines traveled to the Phoenix area last week for a baseball spring training fundraiser. On his way back to San Diego, Gaal allegedly had a problem at airport security.

    According to a witness, a TSA officer asked Gaal to get out of his wheelchair and move, even though he "couldn’t stand or walk on his own."

    In a letter to the TSA, Hunter's said Gaal's prosthetic legs were exposed and removed, which he believes "humiliated" the Marine.

    Read the full letter here

    And while Hunter said he understands the need to screen all passengers, he told TSA Administrator John Pistole that he's concerned by the "apparent lack of situational awareness and respect” among some TSA officers, especially in dealing with those, such Gaal, who've been badly wounded in war.

    The "TSA" says it works hard, to treat wounded service members with quote "dignity and respect” and said it is trying to find out more about what happened at the Phoenix Airport.

    The agency says it has a special "Wounded Warrior Screening Program” and it plans to expand that program to make it even easier for the wounded to clear those security checkpoints.