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Posted: 1/19/2002 8:50:34 AM EDT
[url]http://www.washtimes.com/national/20020119-79003878.htm[/url] Airline security personnel at Phoenix's international airport questioned a retired general and war hero about the Medal of Honor he was carrying before he boarded a flight to Washington, D.C. "They just didn't know what it was but they acted like I shouldn't be carrying it on," retired Marine Corps Gen. Joseph J. Foss of Scottsdale, Ariz., said yesterday in a telephone interview. "I kept explaining that it was the highest medal you can receive from the military in this country, but nobody listened," he said. Gen. Foss, an 86-year-old former South Dakota governor whose resume also includes stints as president of the National Rifle Association and as commissioner of the old American Football League, said he was "hassled" about the medal by two separate security crews at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. He was trying to board an America West airliner Jan. 11 to attend an NRA meeting in Arlington. "I received the medal in 1943 from President Franklin Roosevelt," after shooting down 26 enemy planes in the Pacific, said Gen. Foss, who was a Marine fighter pilot during World War II. "It states all that stuff on the back of the medal," he said. "I was held up for 45 minutes, while they decided what to do about the medal. I almost missed my flight, as they went back and forth," Gen. Foss said. He stressed that he would not have boarded the plane if he had been stopped from taking the medal aboard. "I'm one of only about 140 surviving Medal of Honor recipients," he said. Gen. Foss acknowledges that a commemorative metal nail file — also bearing a Medal of Honor inscription — and a dummy bullet were also in the same pocket of his sports coat as the military medal. Those items were seized before he boarded the plane, but he was allowed to keep the Medal of Honor. Metal nail files and other instruments with blades are prohibited from aircraft cabins under Federal Aviation Administration regulations that went into effect after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 8:51:39 AM EDT
cont. Bullets and other ammunition are not permitted on an aircraft in a passenger's possession. However, the bullet taken from Gen. Foss was harmless, as it has a hole in it so that it will fit on a key chain. An FAA spokesman was unable to say whether a dummy bullet would be banned under the federal regulations. But he pointed out that airlines are allowed to impose restrictions that go beyond those of the federal agency. Gen. Foss said he normally doesn't travel with his medal. "I do not carry the medal around with me. But I had it with me this time to show to cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point," where he was a guest speaker last week. Patty Nowack, spokeswoman for America West, said she could not respond to specific questions about the Foss case, as she cannot verify he flew on the airline. She could not say whether there would be any security concerns about a medal but that it would cause a metal detector to go off. "Our primary objective is to ensure the safety and security of all passengers and employees. We're not trying to single out any individual," she said yesterday. Gen. Foss says he believes his one-way, first-class ticket, coupled with the 10-gallon hat and western boots he was wearing, made him seem suspicious to security personnel. Because he wears a pacemaker, he said he couldn't go through a metal detector and so he had to be "frisked" by guards. Also, Gen. Foss said, "I had to take off my cowboy boots three times [before boarding], as well as my belt and necktie. I compared the situation to bailing out to land in a foreign country." He said security personnel went so far as to remove razor blades from his luggage, which also went beyond FAA requirements. Jim Baker, chief lobbyist for the NRA, said he understands the need for "extra security." But he questions how an 86-year-old man bearing the Medal of Honor could be considered a security risk. "There appears to be a need to incorporate common sense" with the additional security that's being imposed, Mr. Baker said.
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 9:04:12 AM EDT
They had NO idea what the Medal or Honor was? What it represented, or even WHO Joe Foss is? Where do they hire these idiots at? And the response from America Worst-" We cannot verify that he flew our airline" -So is that an admission of bad security practices, or just an attempt to insult the man further? Next time I need to get somewhere, I'm driving. The "convience" of air travel has suddenly become inconvient. Meplat-
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 9:14:10 AM EDT
Now lets see. The security screening officers that our leaders wanted to make Federal employees with the commensurate benefits: Do not have to be high school graduates. Do not have to speak English at any given proficiency level. Do not have to be citizens of the US. Oh yeah, these people really need to be retained, tenured for life and given 300% salary increases. I feel MUCH better knowing that while a guy can board illegally with a pistol in his carryon, and only be caught when he confesses, 86 year old General Joe Foss is being hassled about carrying the nation's highest award for valor. Reminds me of a military charter flight to Panama I was catching as a Major with an active duty ID card in 1992 that the screeners would not let me board with a bag of H&G 68 200 gr. cast lead bullets a friend gave me. The local police officer who was on duty nearby asked them if I was going to throw them fast enough to injure someone, but his sarcasm was wasted on the idiots at screening. I had to dump them in a garbage can or miss the Space A flight.
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 9:21:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2002 9:26:23 AM EDT by 5subslr5]
General Foss' downing of 26 (I thought more ?) enemy planes shows a predisposition to violence. Good thing Scumer and Hitlery weren't around or they would have had him jailed. I doubt there was one single person involved in the screeing that had a clue as to what the "Medal" was or what it stood for. As to recognizing General Foss.... Just too FUCKING disgusting for words. (Yes, yes I apologize to any and all who are or maybe offended by my use of the "f" word.)
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 9:24:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2002 9:28:21 AM EDT by rkbar15]
I feel safer already. He must have been profiled in the elderly, medal wearing, retired general terrorist profile.
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 9:40:38 AM EDT
I wonder where the Ntl Guard was during this time? Shooting themselves in the butt?
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 9:43:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 2:21:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SF: Now lets see. The security screening officers that our leaders wanted to make Federal employees with the commensurate benefits: Do not have to be high school graduates. Do not have to speak English at any given proficiency level. Do not have to be citizens of the US. Oh yeah, these people really need to be retained, tenured for life and given 300% salary increases. I feel MUCH better knowing that while a guy can board illegally with a pistol in his carryon, and only be caught when he confesses, 86 year old General Joe Foss is being hassled about carrying the nation's highest award for valor. Reminds me of a military charter flight to Panama I was catching as a Major with an active duty ID card in 1992 that the screeners would not let me board with a bag of H&G 68 200 gr. cast lead bullets a friend gave me. The local police officer who was on duty nearby asked them if I was going to throw them fast enough to injure someone, but his sarcasm was wasted on the idiots at screening. I had to dump them in a garbage can or miss the Space A flight.
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Exactly, these screeners can't even speak english. How can you expect them to know what they are looking at? Unreal.
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 2:28:59 PM EDT
This reminds me of that other thread that dealt with "Dead white-haired men." The one about some idiot in the NYC school system taking down a picture of George Washington because it's 2002 and nobody knew who he was anyway. Hell, I would have carried his luggage on the damn plane and asked if there was anything else I could do for him.
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 2:42:42 PM EDT
I cannot imagine how General Foss must have felt after being treated in such a manner. A man that has given so much to this country....I don't have the words to properly express my disgust!
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 2:46:19 PM EDT
Friggin' idiots. Every kid in America should know what the Congressional Medal of Honor looks like, and so should everyone who has a PR type of job(and yes, just about every job has some kind of public relations in it).
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 2:51:10 PM EDT
With employees like that, no wonder America West has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. I think that we should email America West's CEO and let him know that until he apologizes to Gen. Foss we won't be flying in his airline. Vulcan94
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 3:05:18 PM EDT
Idiots!
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 3:25:48 PM EDT
well many here have been saying that this added security is "a little silly, but if it makes us safer.........." Well I feel real safe now. God knows what that old man might have done! (probably stopped a skyjacker, being the hero that he is)
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 3:40:37 PM EDT
Well, this would probably have gotten more media attention if a) Joe Foss hadn't been a former president of the NRA, and b) He had been a member of any protected minority, to include an Arab-American. Then the media would have been all over it.
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 8:18:21 PM EDT
Strange, I don't remember anyone much liking Joe Foss back when he was flushing away our gun rights like they were used toilet paper.
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 8:40:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed: Strange, I don't remember anyone much liking Joe Foss back when he was flushing away our gun rights like they were used toilet paper.
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I hate to be the one to open THIS can of worms, but.... I can appreciate the sacrifices and bravery of an individual without personally endorsing all of his political positions. At least, as long as he is up front about them. I would liken this to my appreciation for Bob Dole. I wish I could add John McCain, after all he and his family have done for this country, but I have to believe that in the last two years, he has been (choose one or more): a) Kidnapped and taken to the mother ship while Al Gore has been transformed into his replacement (seen the two together lately?). b) Fallen off the wagon and gone on an 18 month bender, making up new policy positions during particularly bad times. c) Suffering a flashback to his time in the custody of the People's Democratic Republic of Vietnam and had sleeper programing activated. d) When they operated on his head, they took out the reason and logic modules and the only available transplant was from Bill Klinton. Hope this clears all of THAT up.
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