Reporting Steve Large
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Purple Heart veteran is speaking on camera for the first time after he says security screeners at the Sacramento International Airport and the state capitol dishonored him.
It’s a case of a wounded warrior wearing his war medals and passing through several metal detectors. The way it unfolded left Ret. Cpl Nathan Kemnitz feeling more like a victim, calling his treatment at the California capitol disrespectful.
He was in Sacramento to be honored as a Veteran of the Year. In a picture on the Assembly floor, he’s seen smiling.
But in photos of the TSA search at the airport and at the security cates inside the capitol have him steaming.
The spokesperson for capitol security says a review of video from the security screening shows nothing wrong, and that the retired marine was asked to remove his jacket with his medals. When he couldn’t, he was taken aside.
“At that point the security technician continues with the wanding process. He has him lift up his pant legs to look at his ankles, which is standard procedure, sends him on his way, one minute, 40 seconds.”
A TSA spokesperson said Kemnitz was given a monitored patdown at the Sacramento airport when he told screeners he couldn’t lift his arms through the security checkpoint.
A statement reads: “TSA has long recognized the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and will reach out to this passenger to ensure his future travels are as simple as possible.”
The TSA has a wounded warrior service that allows for faster screenings, but also requires advanced contact to verify the soldier or veteran’s status.