Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An old war veteran at airport security.

My son Chris came home today.  He returned from Afghanistan earlier this year and he has now discharged from the Army.  He flew down from Brisbane and I drove to Sydney airport to pick him up.

I got there early (my own Army training has never left me).  I walked up to security,  got one of those plastic trays, put my car keys, glasses and loose coins on it, pushed it into the scanning thingy; and walked to the doorway.  You know that thing that beeps and lights up if you are a terrorist.

Well it beeped.

A chap stepped forward and suggested that I remove my belt. I did this, stepped over, placed it on another tray and walked through the arch of death.

Beep, beep!

The security bloke was waiting for me and suggested I take off my shoes.  I was wearing New Balance joggers and I wondered whether they had any metal in them.  I selected another tray (how many was it now?) threw them on it, pushed them into the scanner; and walked through the arch.

Beep, beep again!

Next to go was the wallet even tough it had no coins in it. I placed it in the 27th tray and tried again.

You know what happened - yep, beep, beep!

"Do you have an artificial knee or hips?" Security Sam enquired.

"No mate, as a mater of fact I am having an operation on my knee tomorrow.  Wait a minute, I'm wearing a brace!"

Sure enough, I rolled up my trousers and showed Sam.  "I can take it off if you like."  I said.  Oops silly move, I would have to take my jeans off first.  This is going to be interesting.

Meanwhile a queue is building up behind me and all my stuff is stacked up in trays cluttering up the bench.

"Mate I'll need a chair to sit down and take my brace off."

Sam pointed to some chairs 25  metres away.

"I'm a bit worried about me stuff."  I ventured.

"No worries mate, I'll get it for you and wait for you behind the other scanner.

So I hobbled past the waiting crowd without looking at them.  I didn't want any of them to ask me for an autograph.  I had to hold my jeans up because I had no belt.  I had no watch, no wallet and no shoes. I sat down and luckily I managed to get the brace off without taking off my strides.

I did a wonderful job of hobbling through another arch of death and five security guards and 35 passengers watching me.  I hope i was hobbling on the right leg.

No beep.

Another security bloke approached me.  He had a beaming smile as if I was his long lost pal. He had all my gear in one tray, he had a chair set up for me and he placed all my stuff on a table beside it.  I was now being treated like royalty.  These guys couldn't do enough for me.  I expected him to kiss me, such was the love he seemed to bestow upon me.  I felt like a king - it musta bin my good looks, although at 63 years of age I am fading fast; but I still have hair!

I dunno what brought about the change.  Maybe it was my belt buckle.

Oh, and here is the brace...

Wish me luck for the operation tomorrow.


  1. All the very best, Cav.

    Great story, well told.

    It gladens my heart that there are so many people around who show the proper honour and respect for our vets.


  2. Cav, hope it is a successful op and that you arfe soon up and spinning those fanciful "dits" that you are so fond off. The belt sure is great and yes some people are appreciative of what you blokes went through in those halcyon years of the late sixties/early seventies.


  3. Cav
    Everytime I fly domestic I get hauled out of the queue and given the once over - either with the explosives sensor thingee or a patdown.
    I must look like a terrorist....
    It's never happened on an international flight.
    After reading your story I'll wear my 7RAR T shirt next time to see if that changes anything.

  4. Shave the beard off and they won't pick on you

  5. You always looked like a shady character Cav. Lucky they did not pull out the rubber glove and told you to bend over!!!