It seems American soldiers returning from tours of duty from Afghanistan are subject to the same sort of security checks as are causing the rest of us to get hot under the collar.
But if anything serves to highlight the paranoid daftness of the whole business of taking flight in the 21st century it's the following true story of one soldier's experience at the hands of a jobsworth at the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Soldiers boarding a military charter from Baghram Air Field in Afghanistan were apparently filed through the sort of full-body scanner which has been causing so much trouble in the good ole US of A.
The flight eventually landed in Indianapolis to discharge some of its passengers, but according to a report at Redstate.com, all 330 passengers were made to disembark.
"It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons," the anonymous source of the yarn writes. "Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol." The weapons weren't loaded, or course.
Despite having already been vetted, when the soldiers tried to re-board the plane they were subject to TSA checks. And one soldier was stopped and told he couldn't take his nail clippers on board.
"You’re not suppose(d) to have them," a TSA official informed the startled grunt.
"Why?" he asked.
"They can be used as a weapon," the official informed him.
The soldier then touched butt stock of the rifle he was carrying. "But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on."
"Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane, you don’t have bullets," the smug official replied.
"And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?" the soldier said, a suggestion that was met with 'awkward silence' according to the source
At which point the solder handed over the clippers and was allowed to board the plane.
You couldn't make it up.
The whole sorry tale is here.