In a previous post, I shared details about what Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart experienced upon his arrival at the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. In this post, I share the former Green Beret’s recollections about an experience he had with Transportation Security Administration officials during a trip he took as a prisoner traveling under heavy security escort on a commercial passenger jet from Washington, D.C., to Kansas City.
Around 10 o’clock that morning, Stewart’s handlers asked if he was hungry. He told them he was, and they got him some food.
A short time later, a TSA officer appeared and told Stewart they would take him to the search point, search him and then load him aboard the aircraft before everyone else boarded. He thought things were looking up, but was wrong.
“They wheeled me out, and we get up there to the security checkpoint,” Stewart said. “Of course, the TSA people there clearly weren’t briefed.
“They were like, ‘Well, we’ve gotta wand him,’” Stewart recalled. “Now, think about wanding someone who has two sets of metal handcuffs on. How do you do that?”
Recalling that he had to stand up in his hospital gown, Stewart vividly remembers all of the people in the airport passing by, seeing these people in uniforms and saying, “Thank you for your service. Thank you for your service.”
“And here I am, standing in double-handcuffs and hospital clothes with a Chuck Norris beard, and they’re just scared of me,” Stewart said, adding that he felt bad because he knew the scene probably frightened some people, especially little kids, at the airport.
Before boarding his flight, the TSA folks told his handlers they needed to see if Stewart had any bombs on him. They proceeded to swab the soles of his feet and the palms of his hands until they were confident he had not somehow smuggled a bomb out of his prison cell at Quantico and transported it to the airport while double-handcuffed and under escort.
The recollections above represent a sampling of what you’ll find inside Three Days In August, a book in which Stewart’s life and battle with the military justice system are chronicled. To learn more about Stewart’s story, order a copy of Three Days In August.