Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Soldiers Stowed with Luggage In Oakland Airport

Several days ago, a group of U.S. soldiers on their way back to the states for R & R, and who had been routed through customs in Hawaii, were not allowed to enter the terminal at Oakland Airport. Although some family members were waiting to see them, they were forced to stay outside in a holding area for luggage and denied access to food, water, and restrooms. When questioned about this incident along with a number of similar ones at that airport, Oakland International officials said that there had been a miscommunication over what services the marines desired. In the past, officials have also suggested that our soldiers may constitute a security threat.

To me this recalls images of military personnel arriving home to hateful rants and spitting after Viet Nam. Our soldiers, entrusted with the protection of our nations safety and interest, are being treated like enemies by a segment of the American populace. Unfortunately that segment seems to control Oakland Airport.

And what an excuse! Rather than play the security-threat card again, which is absurd, the airport officials say that there was miscommunication over what treatment the soldiers desired. Where does the confusion lay? I suppose that I might prefer to be kept away from family and friends (and bathrooms), singled out and removed from the plane and made example of before it even gets to the terminal. Come on! There are certain ways you treat people and certain ways you don't. If Oakland officials don't get that concept, they don't deserve to run a service business that requires a lot of customer interaction. If they do it again, there should be a mandatory house-cleaning.

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