“What has happened to our country while we were gone?” Sgt. Mad Dog Tracy
A friend shared this image along with the story behind it on Facebook today. Verbatim, here is the story as told by Sgt. Mad Dog Tracy of what the soldiers had to endure on their flight home from their tours of duty in Afghanistan – and all after risking their lives fighting for our country. The sergeant’s closing line pretty much sums up what life is becoming here within the United States.
UPDATE March 25, 2012: Well, folks. I feel like an idgit. I normally check for validity on stories like this, but was lazy last night and didn’t. And what do you know – this happens to be a made-up story. Here is the link to an article which has the information about the research in contacting the Indiana National Guard, who stated that this never occurred. I am still going to leave this up, though, so if anyone is looking for proof and they stumble across this posting, then they’ll know. It’s still a good story, though.
As the Chalk Leader for my flight home from Afghanistan, I witnessed the following:
When we were on our way back from Afghanistan, we flew out of Baghram Air Field. We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all of our bags searched, the whole nine yards. Our first stop was Shannon, Ireland to refuel. After that, we had to stop at Indianapolis, Indiana to drop off about 100 folks from the Indiana National Guard. That’s where the stupid started.
First, everyone was forced to get off the plane-even though the plane wasn’t refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to a holding area. No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a male/female latrine.
It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren’t loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.
The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it re-inspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to re-inspect our Cargo-just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, re-inspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.
This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.
So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers.
The conversation went something like this:
TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.
Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.
TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.
TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.
Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.
TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.
Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?
TSA Guy: [awkward silence]
Me: Dude, just give him your F**K**G nail clippers so we can get the F**K out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.
Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]
To top it off, the TSA demanded we all be swabbed for “explosive residue” detection. Everyone failed, [go figure, we just came home from a war zone], because we tested positive for “Gun Powder Residue”. Who the Hell is hiring these people?
This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns-but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.
Can someone please tell me What the hell happened to OUR country while we were gone?
Sgt. Mad Dog Tracy
I shake my head every day wondering the same thing, Sergeant Tracy. Every day. Thank you all for risking your lives. Even though I do not like nor agree with war, I will always support the men and women who put their lives on the line every day they walk on foreign soil. I just wish our country would bring all our troops home.
I also feel that the treatment by the TSA officers was completely insulting to the men as well as totally out of line.