The Transportation Security Administration announced this week it would provide expedited screening for injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The most significant change to the TSA’a existing Wounded Warriors program is now these individuals will be eligible to move through security checkpoints without having to remove shoes, light outerwear jackets or hats. This is similar to the policy for travelers over 75 and under 12.
The TSA will also continue to offer “curb-to-gate” service to ease the airport security screening process.
“In recognition of the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, we have revised our screening requirements to allow expedited screening for this trusted group of citizens,” said John Halinski, TSA’s deputy administrator and 25-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran, said in a statement.
The TSA said nearly 25 percent of its workforce are veterans.
The change comes on the heels of a letter from a California congressman to the TSA claiming a Marine was “humiliated” during a security screening in Phoenix.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., claimed a Marine who lost both legs to a bomb was forced to stand up and was also told to remove his prosthetic legs. The Marine was not identified and the letter, Hunter’s office said, was based on eyewitness accounts.
TSA told ABC News the agency had reviewed the surveillance video of the incident and insisted the Marine was never asked to remove his prosthetics.
Hunter later released statement saying he has spoken about the incident with Deputy TSA Administrator John Halinski and said he has no doubt of “his interest in ensuring veterans are treated with respect.” Hunter added, “I look forward to TSA’s action in the coming days.”