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Veterans Day: Thank You

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." - Winston Churchill

Veterans Day is a time to remind our nation to reflect on all of the people who served and sacrificed as members of the United States military and thank them for that service. From the battles of Lexington and Concord to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this nation has always had a strong core of people who were willing to serve, fight, and sometimes die for their country and that is truly honorable.
TSA has a strong core of Veterans who have come to TSA to continue to serve and protect their country- in a different capacity. Over 15,000 of our employees are Veterans and over 3,000 employees are serving in the military reserves. Many are currently deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Whether these dedicated men and women served in a kitchen or a foxhole - or were an expert with an M-16 or a Clarinet - their selfless service to our country is something to appreciate and recognize - today and every day.

So, on behalf of TSA, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of our nation’s Veterans.

Blogger Bob

TSA Blog Team
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Comments

Submitted by Diane on

The quote is by George Orwell, not Winston Churchill.

Submitted by Anonymous on

This is a puppy post if I ever saw one. Big Gulp video, please. And a clarification on why reportedly ice is only a solid for Britney.

Submitted by Anonymous on

please disregard previous quote submission...there is a debate over quote origins with most people attributing the wording in your blog to churchill

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob,

Your beginning quote said it, but the president made a statement that I believe rings true. "Violence knows no boundaries", which is why we owe our our present and past servicemen thanks.

Submitted by Anonymous on

""This is a puppy post if I ever saw one.""

You should be ashamed of yourself to come in and blog off topic on a post about our nation's Veterans. About Britney Spears!!!

******DISGUSTING******

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm a retired Air Force officer who was on active duty from 1976-98. I fly frequently in my second career. I am absolutely appalled by the complete disregard for the Constitution taking place at airports and elsewhere in the name of "security."

I grieve when I reflect on the tens of millions of my fellow veterans who have honorably served, many of whom never came back or came back permanently disabled -- mentally and/or physically, to defend freedoms which don't exist any more.

Many of us are still fighting for and defending these freedoms at TSA checkpoints, in Congress, in the courts, and, yes, still on the battlefield.

Colonel, USAF (Retired)

Submitted by Anonymous on

The TSA should be ashamed of themselves for making exceptions for celebrities, then covering up with supposed rule changes, which are not in practice for us common folk.

Submitted by LIZ on

This Veteran's Day honor the troops for all they have done for our country by hearing their stories, free documentaries here- http://bit.ly/27d6Kd

Submitted by Jeff on

Hats off to our veterans and the men and women in the service. Your sacrifice for this nation is greatly appreciated.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"You should be ashamed of yourself to come in and blog off topic on a post about our nation's Veterans."

Bob is the one who should be ashamed for hiding behind veterans instead of answering legitimate questions about his agency's insane and abusive policies.

Submitted by TSM, Been on

Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
""This is a puppy post if I ever saw one.""

You should be ashamed of yourself to come in and blog off topic on a post about our nation's Veterans. About Britney Spears!!!

******DISGUSTING******

November 11, 2009 9:20 AM"

I 2nd that! - It's Veteren's Day! Go peddle your TSA hatred elsewhere for once!

Submitted by Rosemary Blair on

Thank You for thinking of our Veterans.
As I help many of those Veterans.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Days where we're apparently not allowed to speak up against the TSA:

9/11
Veterans' Day

To those of you who think that such posts are "disgusting", can you please let me know the other days where you think dissent against the government is bad? I'd hate to break those rules.

Submitted by NoClu on

Ho-Ha.

HHC 1/5, 25 Infantry. Feb. 83-Aug. 85.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The responses on this blog just show the massive egos of the anon.
"How dare TSA not respond again to my question that I feel is extremely important and wasn't answered correctly the last 30 times I asked!!"

ECCO

Submitted by Al Ames on

As the retired USAF Colonel stated, this is very germane to the discussion. He and his fellow soldiers fought and suffered for the freedoms in this country. Many didn't return and others came back disabled.

It's a down right shame to see TSA trample the freedoms they fought and bled for. It's really sad to see my friends and coworkers go off to serve and bring freedom to the people in Afghanistan and Iraq while many Americans, including many in TSA, are abandoning the same freedoms abroad.

Thank you, Colonel, for your service to our nation. Thank you to all the military who have done the same.

Al

Submitted by Tomas on

Veterans Day, and once again time for all of us to take a moment to thank our veterans for their service to their country, especially those who are currently serving, and those who never returned.

It is also time for me to publicly remember, once again, one of the kids under my command who didn't return... ALAN DENNIS CURTIS

http://www.tijil.org/blog/?p=13



"The noblest fate a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and the war's desolation." -- Robert Anson Heinlein

________________

http://tijil.org/pcat/

Submitted by Anonymous on

Many of us are still fighting for and defending these freedoms at TSA checkpoints, in Congress, in the courts, and, yes, still on the battlefield.

Colonel, USAF (Retired)

November 11, 2009 9:30 AM

..............
Thank you for your words Colenel. I appreciate them.

MCPO, USN (Retired)

Submitted by Isaac Newton on

Two of my close family members served in the US Navy and USAF, and I honor their contribution to our country. At the same time, I agree with the Colonel and Al Ames that TSA is destroying, at the checkpoint, the liberties that our armed forces won on the battlefield.

I am also appalled at your statement that TSA employees "continue to serve and protect their country - in a different capacity." Trying to gain credibility by equating yourselves with the armed forces is outrageous.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Members of the armed forces are not currently, nor have they recently, done anything whatsoever to "protect our freedom," "defend our country," or fulfill any other such grand, propogandistic claim. This is the truth, no matter how many times you repeat your slogans.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Hooaahh, 8 years U.S.Army here. Thanks to all that served and a special thanks to the families and service members that never returned.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Members of the armed forces are not currently, nor have they recently, done anything whatsoever to "protect our freedom," "defend our country,"

You don't count the disruption of the Taliban in Afghanistan?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Yeah, if you appreciate us so much, why do I have to take off my boots and play your security theater when I'm in uniform and traveling on orders?

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "Yeah, if you appreciate us so much, why do I have to take off my boots and play your security theater when I'm in uniform and traveling on orders?"

Unless there is something in the boots causing them to alarm, you should not be required to remove them. Since the inception of the military exception, I have not had any military member be required to remove their boots unless there was something in the boots causing the WTMD to alarm.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

On a side note, we just recently had 2 "Flights of Honor" that took WWII vets to DC to visit the WWII memorial. It was an awesome experience, the stories and camaraderie amongst these "old school warriors" were some of my favorite memories working here. They deserve our thanks, and the trip for all they did for our country. If any of you hear of this type of event at your local airport, I recommend that you go to the airport and visit with these folks as they are leaving or coming back in, they are truly humble and a joy to be around.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
Yeah, if you appreciate us so much, why do I have to take off my boots and play your security theater when I'm in uniform and traveling on orders?

November 12, 2009 2:44 PM

So i take it you have no clue what happened at Fort Hood a week ago, right? Theres a reason why TSA screens the people they screen, and maybe they should screen everyone that steps foot in the sterile area, because if you cant trust a man in uniform, who can you trust?

Thank you for your sacrifices ladies and gentlemen.

Submitted by HSVTSO Dean on
Anonymous wrote,
Yeah, if you appreciate us so much, why do I have to take off my boots and play your security theater when I'm in uniform and traveling on orders?

You're... not supposed to. Unless they're steel-toed or have metal supports in them (some of the older ones still do), US military personnel don't have to remove their footwear when in uniform.
Submitted by Ryan62 on

Anon-
Why do you have to take off your boots when you are travelling on orders? I don't know for sure, but do you think someone like Maj Nidal Malik Hasan perhaps travelled in uniform and on orders? It isn't a safe assumption that because someone is in uniform and on orders they present no potential threat. Further, uniforms are easy to come by and military orders can be faked by anyone with MS Word and a printer.

Finally, can we forego the "TSA is destroying our freedoms" nonsense. If TSA is doing it then every courthouse in America is guilty of it as well. In fact the courthouse is far worse. You CHOOSE to go to the airport, no one can force you to. However, I can get a letter in the mail stating that if I fail to appear at the courthouse at a certain date and time a warrant will be issued even though all I did was have my name picked at random for Jury Duty. In order to fulfill this mandate imposed on me I must submit to a search of my person and property and have no choice in the matter.
They have been X-raying bags and making people walk through metal detectors at airports for 30 years. This is nothing new, its no "brand new" imposition on your rights, its the same thing that has been happening for decades, and the courts have been ok with it. So please, drop the cheap theatrics and take the train.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"So i take it you have no clue what happened at Fort Hood a week ago, right?"

Yes, clearly it was a failure to screen shoes that was the problem at Fort Hood.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"They have been X-raying bags and making people walk through metal detectors at airports for 30 years. This is nothing new, its no "brand new" imposition on your rights, its the same thing that has been happening for decades"

Um, the shoe carnival and the liquids nonsense are, in fact, "brand new," as is TSA's desire to take naked pictures of children flying on aircraft.

Submitted by Cash !== Crime on

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/11/rules-changed-after-paul-aid...

Any particular reason why the TSA blog has not yet acknowledged these changes in policy, namely:

"screening may not be conducted to detect evidence of crimes unrelated to transportation security" and that large amounts of cash don't qualify as suspicious for purposes of safety.

In response, the ACLU has dropped their lawsuit.

Submitted by Andy on

Ah...while many people hate the TSA and their policies (sometimes rightfully so), I think that to add snarky comments either insulting the TSA and/or asking irrevelant questions on this post is stupid. Asking about why boots need to be removed, though, or other questions related with being in the military and being screened by TSA, however, is fine. Just my opinion, but I believe this post is pretty respectful and shouldn't be insulted or mocked by people.

If you have an issue with TSA, that's understandable and valid. Comment on other posts. This post, however, I believe deserves respect. Our armed forces do so much and sacrifice so much for this nation, and we need to appreciate that, no matter who or where we are from.

Andrew

Submitted by Anonymous on

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Yeah, if you appreciate us so much, why do I have to take off my boots and play your security theater when I'm in uniform and traveling on orders?"

Unless there is something in the boots causing them to alarm, you should not be required to remove them. Since the inception of the military exception, I have not had any military member be required to remove their boots unless there was something in the boots causing the WTMD to alarm.

West
TSA Blog Team

#######

Why is the TSA making exceptions for the military? Especially in light of the Ft. Hood shootings. Either everyone takes off their shoes at the checkpoint or no one does, no exceptions. If the TSA truly was concerned about passenger safety this should not be happening

Submitted by Gunner on

From the Wahington Times artile referenced above:

The new rules, issuedin September and October, tell officers "screening may not be conducted to detect evidence of crimes unrelated to transportation security" and that large amounts of cash don't qualify as suspicious for purposes of safety.

"We had been hearing of so many reports of TSA screeners engaging in wide-ranging fishing expeditions for illegal activities," said Ben Wizner, a staff lawyer for the ACLU, pointing to reports of officers scanning pill-bottle labels to see whether the passenger was the person who obtained the prescription as one example.

He said screeners get a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches, strictly to keep weapons and explosives off planes, not to help police enforce other laws.

Submitted by Gunner on

So much for open government:

TSA spokeswoman Lauren Gaches said the new "internal directives" are meant to ensure their screeners are consistent. She acknowledged the policy on large sums of cash had changed, but wouldn't provide a copy of either document. She said the directives would not be released unless a Freedom Of Information Act request was submitted by The Washington Times.

"TSA routinely assesses its policies and screening procedures to ensure the highest levels of security nationwide," she said. "Currency alone is not a threat, and TSA does not restrict the amount of currency a traveler may carry through the checkpoint."

This kind of attitude is just one more reason why so many of do not trust you. Even those with long military careers, who are used to following out orders, recognize an out-of-control scenario.

Submitted by TSM/West on

Col;
I served in the same United States Air Force from 1976 through 1992 and I don't see any disregard for the constitution. What I see here is another government agency trying to protect the people of this country the same as our military does but in another capacity. By continuing to protect the people those who sacrificed for this country didn't do it in vain.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "Why is the TSA making exceptions for the military? Especially in light of the Ft. Hood shootings. Either everyone takes off their shoes at the checkpoint or no one does, no exceptions. If the TSA truly was concerned about passenger safety this should not be happening"

I do not make policy, I was merely indicating what the SOP says. My personal opinion is that the military members should be accorded certain courtesies (such as the exemption for the shoes). These folks are serving our country and do so freely. They are not compelled to serve, they choose to sacrifice (in many ways and forms), and the least we can do is pay them a little respect back.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said:

"So i take it you have no clue what happened at Fort Hood a week ago, right? Theres a reason why TSA screens the people they screen, and maybe they should screen everyone that steps foot in the sterile area, because if you cant trust a man in uniform, who can you trust?"


I was not aware that Maj Hasan was carrying his guns in his shoes. Thank you for that info.

Submitted by David on

Army maintains security and the nation inappropriate, consideration should be returned to them.thanks for post

Submitted by Anonymous on

"My personal opinion is that the military members should be accorded certain courtesies (such as the exemption for the shoes). "

How about extending that courtesy to everyone, since no one has boarded a plane with dangerous shoes anywhere on earth in nearly eight years, regardless of whether or how their shoes were screened?

Submitted by RB on

TSM/West said...
Col;
I served in the same United States Air Force from 1976 through 1992 and I don't see any disregard for the constitution. What I see here is another government agency trying to protect the people of this country the same as our military does but in another capacity. By continuing to protect the people those who sacrificed for this country didn't do it in vain.

November 13, 2009 10:22 AM

....................
West, where can I find a complete list of rules and regulations that I, a citizen, must comply with to traverse a TSA checkpoint?

What is the rule on ice and where is it published.

What is the rule on carrying cash and where is this information published?

Does a TSA employee have to provide identification when requested by a traveler and where is this rule published?

What are the limits of a TSA Administrative Search and where is this information available to a traveler?

And you really don't think TSA is abusing the Constitution of the United States?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"So i take it you have no clue what happened at Fort Hood a week ago, right? Theres a reason why TSA screens the people they screen, and maybe they should screen everyone that steps foot in the sterile area, because if you cant trust a man in uniform, who can you trust?"


I was not aware that Maj Hasan was carrying his guns in his shoes. Thank you for that info.

November 13, 2009 11:18 AM
#######
And yet when we want to keep our shoes on you will be the first person to claim shoe bombs are valid security threat.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I do not make policy, I was merely indicating what the SOP says. My personal opinion is that the military members should be accorded certain courtesies (such as the exemption for the shoes). These folks are serving our country and do so freely. They are not compelled to serve, they choose to sacrifice (in many ways and forms), and the least we can do is pay them a little respect back.

West
TSA Blog Team

November 13, 2009 11:07 AM

########
The Ft. Hood shooter had also joined the military as a volunteer. What if he or some other service man decided to bring a shoe bomb onto a plane? We've had airport and TSA employees get arrested for theft, drug and gun smuggling, and have brought guns to work. This happened in spite of the back ground checks they were given. So why should I trust the military not to have the same problems?

Submitted by Tom on

"How about extending that courtesy to everyone, since no one has boarded a plane with dangerous shoes anywhere on earth in nearly eight years, regardless of whether or how their shoes were screened?"

Not sure if a gun has been used to hijack or attack anyone on a plane in years either but I'm not ready to fly commercially without all passengers on the plane screened for a gun.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"My personal opinion is that the military members should be accorded certain courtesies (such as the exemption for the shoes)."

How about extending this courtesy to other persons that contribute toward the society, such as, say, all of us?

Submitted by Anonymous on

In response to TSM/West:

This is off the topic of Veterans Day, but, I must respond. There are many in Congress (Reps Chaffetz and Paul being just two), courts, the DOJ, the GAO, and numerous private and non-profit sector experts who disagree with your view. You and I both know that an OSI detachment commander and/or agent or security police commander who tried to pull some of the stuff which happens at airports and other transportation centers would be removed before he knew what hit him.

I can understand your view of the TSA given that they are your employer. I'd suggest you do reasearch on the subject of "groupthink." This disease is pandemic among the TSA and the DHS at large. That's not a good thing for our country or the Constitution.

Colonel, USAF (Ret)

Submitted by Ranger11 on

TSA gets a lot of grief for not being logical. I have no argument there, they are not always logical. Isn't it just as illogical though to stop checking for something just because it has not been attempted for several years?

I would think that those who write in and participate in these posts would agree that just because a successful aircraft explosion using a persons shoes as the primary means to carry the explosives has not been carried out does not mean that it never will and that we should no longer allow TSA to check shoes for dangerous and prohibited items.

On the contrary, in the period of time since our famous "Shoe Bomber" made his blundered attempt, more shoe manufacturers have popped up with lines of shoes that are made to look like ordinary shoes that have hidden compartments for concealing items. Some of these manufacturers don't even try to sell the shoes as anything but an ideal way of hiding items. Just google hidden compartment shoes. 76,000 results will come up.

If you can put explosives in a shoe and it is easier now than it was several years ago, shouldn't we expect that TSA would do everything that they can to prevent that? I just thought I would ask.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Not sure if a gun has been used to hijack or attack anyone on a plane in years either but I'm not ready to fly commercially without all passengers on the plane screened for a gun."

Screening for guns is accomplished quickly and easily by x-raying bags and walking through a metal detector. Checking shoes for explosives needlessly adds time to screening and provides no additional safety in return.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"I would think that those who write in and participate in these posts would agree that just because a successful aircraft explosion using a persons shoes as the primary means to carry the explosives has not been carried out does not mean that it never will and that we should no longer allow TSA to check shoes for dangerous and prohibited items."

And yet, no country that doesn't have a mandatory shoe carnival has suffered a plane being brought down as a result. And before the shoe carnival was made mandatory in August of 2006, no one used a shoe bomb to harm a flight in the US. The fact is that shoes are a lousy delivery device for explosives and TSA is wasting its time making everyone remove them. We know it, TSA knows it, TSA is lying to us about it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, please answer these questions:

Why does TSA assume any liquid below 3.4 ounces is safe but that any liquid over 3.4 ounces is dangerous explosive?

Why does TSA toss these dangerous explosives into open containers in the middle of airports?

Why does TSA dispose of these dangerous explosives as if they were exactly what is indicated by their labels?

Why does TSA treat a bottle of Pepsi like soda when it's time to dispose of it, but as a dangerous explosive when it transits the checkpoint?

How does TSA screen the liquids sold past its checkpoints?

Does TSA test a random sampling if confiscated liquids to determine how many liquid explosives people are attempting to bring through checkpoints?

Why can't TSA point to a single piece of independent, peer-reviewed research to support its liquid policies?

Why does TSA continue to post inaccurate signage about the liquids policies in airports?

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