MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota reservist who spent the past eight months in Iraq was told he couldn't board a plane to Minneapolis because his name appeared on a "no-fly" list as a possible terrorist.
Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Brown, who was in uniform and returning from the war with 26 other Marine military police reservists, was delayed briefly in Los Angeles until the issue was cleared up.
The other reservists arrived at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as scheduled, but instead of immediately meeting their families, they waited on a bus for Brown.
"We don't leave anybody behind," said Marine 1st Sgt. Drew Benson. "We start together, and we finish together."
Brown arrived more than an hour later.
"A guy goes over and serves his country fighting for eight or nine months, and then we come home and put up with this crap?" Brown told the St. Paul Pioneer Press upon arrival.
Problems at LA airport
Brown, 32, of Coon Rapids, was returning from service in the Al-Anbar province of Iraq, known as the dangerous Sunni Triangle. He ran into problems at the Los Angeles airport on Tuesday morning.
"I was told it was going to take some time because they informed me I was on a government watch list," Brown said. "People at the Northwest counter said they had to call somebody to get me cleared."
The presence of Brown's name on the watch list apparently resulted from an airport incident when he was on his way to Iraq.
He was trying to board a plane last June for training in California before heading to Iraq in September. But Transportation Security Administration screeners found gunpowder residue on his boots — likely left over from a previous two-month tour in Iraq.
"I tried to explain what was going on, that I'd just got home and was going back again," Brown said. "They made a big stink about it, and I ended up missing my flight to California."
A spokeswoman with the TSA told the Pioneer Press on Tuesday she was unfamiliar with Brown's case and not comment on it. A TSA spokeswoman did not immediately return a message from the Associated Press on Wednesday.
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