TSA eases security rules for wounded troops, veterans

Wounded veterans and active-duty troops will move through airport security with a bit more ease beginning this week because of a new airport-security policy.

The Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday that it would immediately allow “wounded warriors” to wear shoes, light jackets and hats through security checkpoints as long as they contact the TSA before traveling.

Those individuals are also eligible for curb-to-gate assistance from the TSA, the agency said.

“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 TSA Deputy Administrator John Halinski, a Marine Corps veteran.

Members of the House Homeland Security committee applauded the TSA decision.

“We owe a great deal to our men and women in uniform,” said Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., chairman of the Homeland Security subcommittee on transportation security. “The least we can do is ensure they are treated with the highest dignity and respect.”

Hudson also said that the new TSA policy “builds upon other changes promoted by the Homeland Security Committee,” including a House bill that expedited screening for active-duty military personnel traveling on official orders.

President Barack Obama signed that legislation into law in January 2012.

This year, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, proposed a bill that would have required the TSA to implement the policy changes the agency announced Wednesday.

Gabbard said the new TSA policy “upholds the highest levels of security while affording a trusted group of citizens the dignity and respect they deserve.”

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