Madam Speaker, Oakland Airport officials might as well put up a sign: ``Welcome to Oakland, but no U.S. military allowed here.''
It seems that over 200 marines from the combat fields of Iraq flew into Oakland, California, and were not allowed to deplane into the airport. They were forced off the plane between two runways and had to sit in the grass for 3 hours while waiting to fly to Hawaii. The troops had flown from Iraq via Kuwait, Germany, and JFK Airport. They had already been completely screened by Customs and TSA at JFK, but the officials at Oakland Airport wouldn't let them into the terminal.
One marine said no explanation was ever given. Interestingly enough, reports say this not the first time Oakland banned the U.S. military from its airport.
Most airports welcome our returning troops with patriotism, cheers, flags and enthusiastic applause. But not in Oakland. They should be ashamed. They should apologize to each marine, and Congress needs to find out why the marines were treated so poorly and even consider prohibiting Federal funds from going to this airport if it is shown that the airport is anti-military.
And that's just the way it is.
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