Skip to comments.Spitting on the Marines
Posted on 09/29/2007 3:35:59 PM PDT by Bahbah
Spitting on the Marines [Michael Ledeen]
Here is an e-mail from a Marine chaplain recently returned from Iraq. The story speaks for itselflousy treatment of our troops at our own airports. He writes about Oakland, and while checking around I find that this is a common experience. I hope that one of our leaders will find a way to put an end to such behavior.
Marines and Soldiers Returning from Iraq not allowed
into Oakland terminal
On September 27th 204 Marines and soldiers who were
returning from Iraq were not allowed into the
passenger terminal at Oakland International Airport.
Instead they had to deplane about 400 yards away from
the terminal where the extra baggage trailers were
This was the last scheduled stop for fuel and food
prior to flying to Hawaii where both were based. The
trip started in Kuwait on September 26th with a
rigorous search of checked and carry on baggage by US
Customs. All baggage was x-rayed with a "backscatter"
machine AND each bag was completely emptied and hand
searched. After being searched, checked bags were
marked and immediately placed in a secure container.
Carry on bags were then x rayed again to ensure no
contraband items were taken on the plane. While
waiting for the bus to the airport, all personnel were
in quarantined in a fenced area and were not allowed
The first stop for fuel/food and crew change was in
Leipzig Germany. Troops exited the aircraft and took
a bus to a reception area in the terminal, where there
was a convenience store, phones, Internet and
restrooms. As we excited the bus we were given a
re-boarding pass. Three troops remained on the plane
with the rifles and pistols. There was no ammunition
on the plane and the bolts of the rifles had been
removed. After about 2 hours troops re-boarded the
plane and flew to JFK in NY.
At JFK the procedure was similar to Germany, 3 troops
stayed on the plane to guard weapons while the rest
deplaned. At the gate we were each given a
re-boarding pass and spent about 1.5 hours in the
terminal, at which time we re-boarded and flew to
As we came in for the final approach to Oakland a
Lieutenant who served in Afghanistan with the same
unit in 2006 mentioned how when they landed in Oakland
they were not allowed in the terminal. He said, "they
made us get out by the FED EX building and we had to
sit out there for 3 hours". He also indicated he was
almost arrested by the TSA for getting belligerent
about them not letting the Marines into the terminal.
Well the same thing happened again. This time we did
not park by the FED EX building, instead we were
offloaded near the grass that separates the active
runway from the taxi ramp, about 400 yards from the
terminal. When we inquired why they wouldn't allow us
in the airport they gave us some lame excuse that we
hadn't been screened by TSA. While true, the
screening which we did have was much more thorough
than any TSA search and was done by US Customs.
Additionally, JFK didn't seem to have a problem with
our entering their terminal, nor did security in
It felt like being spit on. Every Marine and soldier
felt the message loud and clear, "YOU ARE NOT WELCOME
Chaplain Brandon Harding
1ST BN 3D MARINES
The left is replaying their old records from the 1960s.
Unbelievable! What is going on here?
It’s just Oakland’s way of making an anti-war statement.
Your title is mis-leading and you know it.
Every Marine was Mis-Treated on Their Way Back To America
These are the people wishing to go after Rush Limbaugh on Monday.
They will be defeated because most of the military know they are traitors and losers.
If the military comes home like the guys from Vietnam, the RATs will be the ones to blame. They are nothing but lily livered cowards who would sell out their grandma for money or power.
It is the title given to the piece by the author, eye. We do not change titles here.
It’s time to start raising hell over this, folks.
OK, It’s still mis-leading.
The Marines have a word for this.
DOD should discontinue using Oakland Intl Apt and move all military flights back to Travis AFB.
I agree. We must not let them to this to our military again! This really hurts me, and we need to stop it NOW!
I’m not ready to buy this yet, if they were returning as a Unit with arms, they would not be going through the terminal in any event.
Wait and see.
It’s as simple as this: We are no longer ONE nation.
We have been divided. Lines are now drawn on a political spectrum by locals in direct conflict with national.
i travelled to and from europe to the states and from the gulf to the states while on military planes. the only place that we actually got to go into the main terminal was at either philly or new york. i always assumed it was for convienience versus being degraded in any way. on a full chartered plane it isnt always easy to round up people to get back to the plane, just think about high school field trips. only the larger airports with good size mac terminals had staging areas for military flights. If you want to be harrassed, try off loading in the Azorces or Saudi where they hold you pretty much at gun point the entire time.
God help me, I hate them..
Hardly “spit on” and the title should be changed to avoid inducing unwarranted outrage.
I’ve flown military and civilian or 25+ years and NONE of this is new.
Shaking down military for contriband, especially when returning from a combat theater, is the only wise thing to do. You wouldn’t believe the things some GIs will try to bring home.
That’s the point.
The weapons stayed on the aircraft under guard at two other airports during the trip while the Marines were allowed to use the facilities in the terminal at those airports.
As for myself, if I see a person in uniform in a restaurant eating I pick up their check. I was in the barber shop and a young Marine was there getting his hair cut. As I walked out I gave an extra $20 to the barber (an ex-marine) and just winked at him after nodding my head towards the kid.
Awhile back I was in a Circuit City and there were three young fellows that were in their Amry uniforms. They were looking at CD and stuff. I went to the cash register and bought three gift cards, walked up to them, thanked them and walked away. I've helped raise money for injured soldiers and one in particular had a darn good Christmas this past year.
I can keep going but that's enough. And I'm just a pissant compared to what I know other people have done. When we were raising money for this one kid a guy up in Houston asked us how much we needed. We told him and he sent half and told us he'd cover the rest if we needed but he wanted to let others help. We raised three times what we needed and did so in 72 hours. People came out of the woodwork. It was truely a magical thing.
It is not what it was like during Vietnam. If there are unusual situations where our fighting people are not paid the respect they deserve then something needs to be done about that!
God bless our fighting people and those Americans that put themselves in harms way so we can all be free people.
I’d suggest a buycott, but who the heck goes to Oakland?
In contrast, AT the Bangor International Airport in Bangor,Maine, not ONE planeload of troops has come through since the war began but that they are greeting INSIDE the terminal by a greeting committee and given tokens of appreciation.
Quote: "the Maine Troop Greeters have greeted more than 2505 flights and over 500,000 soldiers."
and on wikipdeia
These two contrasting stories need to be run together for impact. It will show these left over flower children punks up for what they are.
Time for a FREEP to all media outlets - "What say you?"
It is the title given the piece by the author due to a remark by the Chaplain. I am not at liberty to change it.
They shouldn’t have excited the bus.
The chaplain wasn’t complaining about the search. That detail was presented in the article to demonstrate that the excuse given by the Oakland authorities for refusing to allow the Marines to enter the terminal was not a valid one.
LOL. I caught that too. I am sure he meant exited. :)
Why no reports of assault with bodily fluid? If the airport authorities had this much control over the deplaning Marines, why no security in the airport?
How many spitting pukes were involved?
There are plenty of military installations locally that these heroes could have landed. Why was Oakland chosen?
Now don't get mad at me I'm just asking for information. That being said... I know anyone in uniform cannot retalerate against random pukes in public. BUT if I am witness to it, I'll gladly spend a day or two in jail for punching the crap out of anyone that dares to spit on anyone in our countries service.
an absolutely sane response...
Yes they are. I wonder what they would say if we Americans insisted that the Military not be fully charged for such landings.
According to the Chaplian's report, it was his interpretation of the treatment the Marines received. There were no actual incidents.
It is my sense that if the general public saw any such thing, there would be a Flight 93 moment and you would have considerable company in the lock up. Good company at that.
If the TSA in Oakland is like the TSA in San Jose and San Francisco, chances are they didn’t even speak english & consider US soldiers armed foreigners.
The real turn around about this, I was in Leipzig, Germany
when it was still major Russian controlled E. Ger.
Our Marines are treated better in Germany than in Oakland.
Then again no surprise,
a black Muslim recently killed a black newsreporter in Oakland.
So? What do you want to do? File a lawsuit?
It upset me, vetsvette. If I were the president, I would be an extreme burr in someone’s side over this (although I do understand he can’t be everywhere).
I know our Marines don’t insist on king like treatment, but some decent concern for a reasonable amount of comfort and respect would be much appreciated.
Hellish airport. They should count themselves lucky that they did not have to endure its dreary, worn-out decor, its echo-chamber acoustics, and most of all its sullen, shabby, slapworthy clientele and lame, rude staff.
God bless our soldiers!
Dear Oakland California:
Due to this incident I no longer consider your city to be part of the United States. I hold your neighbor to the west, the City of San Fransisco, in the same regard. You are part of a separate nation which is an enemy of the United States.
I used to live not too far from Oaland.
The WWII carrier Hornet is now retired and moored in Alameda (Oakland’s port). The city will not allow signs to be put up telling tourists where the Hornet is located because that would be supporting the military.
I have reached the point where I believe that patriotic Americans have nothing in common with liberals. I am beginning to believe that splitting the country into two nations is not the worst possible outcome.
I have heard the same thing from travelers through Atlanta. It does my heart good.
I do wish the media would talk about this. I live in a liberal state but our troops are greeted with open arms here. A lot of the Maine troop greeters are about as antiwar as you can get but they still believe that our troops should be thanked for their service. The city of Oakland has proved themselves petty, small, and narrow minded. The American people should be allowed to see the real face of the so called peace loving people.
This should have been anticipated. Oakland is OaklandSSR. It is one of the more anti-American spots on the planet.
True. I taught school there a long time ago. It was a lost city even then.
No, just truth in advertising, here I am thinking soldiers are being spit on, and it seems not to be the case. Problem?