Joe Foss' Last Battle

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Njaco, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    994
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Animal Control Officer
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Just found out about this the other day. This happened in 2002, General Foss died in 2003.

    American Hero harassed in Phoenix Airport - Joe Foss

    Medal Of Honor Fails to Impress Airline Security
    by Joyce Howard Price

    "They just didn't know what it was but they acted like I shouldn't be carrying it on," retired Marine Corps General Joseph J. Foss of Scottsdale, Arizona 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 January 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.

    General 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 he 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. 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.
     
  2. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,592
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Hurst, Texas
    :salute: :salute:

    A-frikkin-MEN on this one, Gen. Foss! Has this country sunk so low that most folks don't even know what a MOH is, or looks like, or can frikkin read the inscription on the back of the medal to discover what it is? Are our security types too intent on being The One Who Caught A Terrorist that they're willing to assume an 86 year old war vet is a threat? Lord help us all...
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,768
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Okay the nail file and the bullet (even though it is a dummy) I can understand. Gen. Foss should not have tried to bring those things on the plane. He should have used common sense on that part as well.

    Now for the medal? Why the hell would that not be allowed on the plane? I don't get it...
     
  4. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    I'm sure its just some chump who is performing the security check that likes to feel important , something that isn't in short supply in those type of jobs
     
  5. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,388
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Hamlet, NC, US
    I'm gonna play devil's advocate here. This was a year after 9/11. We charged our airport security people with stopping terrorists regardless of the inconvenience to the flying public. And rightfully so. To refresh our memories, nobody thought of box cutters as weapons before the terrorists. How could the screeners know that it wasn't a weapon. Again, to refresh our memory, people later tried to make bombs in the soles of their shoes. Our enemies are diabolically clever, and we have to assume the worst in order to prevent the worst. Or to borrow a phrase from Ronald Reagan...Trust, but verify.

    According to the article, General Foss was detained about 45 minutes. While this is undoubtedly a inconvenience to a genuine american hero, it was just that-an inconvenience. The screeners got it right in the end.

    How many of us would know a Medal of Honor by sight? We all know what it is, but how many would know it if we saw it up close and personal?

    Just my 2 cents...
     
  6. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,592
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Hurst, Texas
    I think, personally, I'd have a hard time taking a second, closer look at one. Hard to see through those darn tears, ya know...
     
Loading...

Share This Page