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Watch List Delays Reservist's Homecoming

AP | April 13 2006

MINNEAPOLIS - A Marine reservist returning home after eight months in Iraq was told he couldn't board a plane to Minneapolis because his name appeared on a watch list as a possible terrorist.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Brown, who was in uniform and returning from the war Tuesday 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," 1st Sgt. Drew Benson said. "We start together, and we finish together."

Brown, 32, arrived more than an hour later. He had also had airport trouble when he was trying to go to Iraq — and he missed his plane then as well.

"A guy goes over and serves his country fighting for eight or nine months, and then we come home and put up with this?" he asked.

Nico Melendez, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, said Wednesday he could not confirm or deny whether someone was on a watch list. He said Brown's case should have been fairly easy for the airline to clear up in Los Angeles.

"It should have taken 10 minutes," he said. "We do regret that an American hero was inconvenienced."

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