Calls to make TSA screenings easier for disabled veterans


WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR DC BUREAU/WBTW) – One senator, who’s also a disabled veteran, is calling for TSA screenings to be made easier for disabled veterans.

As Nexstar DC Bureau’s Raquel Martin reports, Senator Tammy Duckworth’s bill would waive TSA pre-check fees for all disabled veterans, making air travel a smoother process.

When it comes to passing airport security, disabled veterans like Sherman Gillums and even Sen. Duckworth have their share of horror stories.

“I got a pretty thorough pat down, I was very uncomfortable it was out in public,” Sen. Duckworth (D-IL) says. “I’ve been taken into a second room to strip to see my devices.”

“It got to a point where I had to file a complaint,” says Gillums.

Sen. Duckworth says thankfully the days of routine x-rays are over, but she says it’s time to make getting through the airport even easier for disabled veterans.

“I figure you’ve been wounded in the defense of this country, you should probably be given a little bit of a break,” says Sen. Duckworth.

She’s pushing a bill to waive the cost of TSA pre-check for disabled veterans.

“I think it’s the right thing to do, many of our veterans are unemployed especially are disabled veterans,” Sen. Duckworth also says.

TSA pre-checks normally cost $85 for a 5-year pass and allows someone to speed through security.

Under Duckworth’s plan, roughly 300,000 veterans could enjoy the hassle-free benefit.

“We want those men and women to get out of their house and see the world if that’s their desire and for the world itself to be more accommodating,” Gillums says.

Gillums, a Marine veteran, was paralyzed 17 years ago during training exercise and says free pre-check will open doors for veterans.

“In this small way, there’s a chance to show veterans that they’re appreciated,” he said. “It’s not a lot to ask to spend a little more on the people who suffered loss at the hands of defending freedom.”

Duckworth says the bill has bipartisan support and is hoping it’ll pass Congress by the end of the year.

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