over the last ten days I traveled to Texas from Idaho to train with a service dog. during the trip there and back I experienced drastically different treatment at the airports and I wanted to pass along what I learned for my veteran brothers here at MS. I should say that I have a ptsd diagnosis along with other issues and I am a veteran.
on the trip to Texas I had severe anxiety and the feeling of being trapped and surrounded in the airports. in San Diego a plane transfer forced me to exit the secure area and reenter through TSA. their million dollar scanner indicated I was hiding something between my legs. the agent then proceeded to check for that. I was humiliated and proceeded to dissociate, creating a scene. they eventually cleared me through the checkpoint.
but more importantly, as we prepared to return from Texas ten days later the awesome people who run the program informed me they had emailed TSA and homeland security informing them of our travel plans. I had never heard of that and I felt as though that was only going to cause me more hassles in an already stressful situation. I am pleased to report that I was completely wrong. as we arrived at the airport a TSA agent called me and arranged to meet him in the lobby. he escorted us to retrieve our tickets, then escorted me through the checkpoint, bypassing the big machines for a wand, then delivered us to our gate with zero issues. I was floored.
I had no idea the TSA offered such a service to veterans with tbi or ptsd. I post this in the military survivor forum because I don't know if this courtesy is extended to non veterans. I am told that a simple call to your local airports TSA, and a follow up email to the people they direct you too is all that is necessary to arrange an escort. I just wanted to pass this along to my brothers at MS.
Edited by iaccus (01/24/17 05:21 PM)