An Atlanta man blames a Transportation Security Administration agent for spilling his father's ashes from an amulet he wore around his neck.
Troy Bland gave WSB pages and pages of correspondence he's had with the TSA over the incident.
“I still want the apology,” Bland said.
Bland said he is a frequent traveler, and has logged a lot of miles, but what happened April 28 as he came through airport security in Orlando is inexcusable.
“(The TSA agent) has my dad's amulet in his hands and the cap is off, and I said, ‘What are you doing?’”
Bland and his father are Marines. He said when his dad died in November, he had an amulet made with some of his father’s ashes inside, inscribed with The Lord’s Prayer.
“He opened the bottle, looked in it and went like that,” Bland said, motioning how he said the TSA agent tipped the vile, spilling his father’s ashes.
TSA officials said that the incident has been reviewed twice and they've concluded the agent did not spill ashes.
They would not release the video of the incident publicly, but allowed WSB reporter Liz Artz to watch it via a video call. The video was grainy and difficult to see. The agent appears to be holding an object, but it could not be determined by the reporter who saw the video if ashes or anything else dropped out of the vial.
“Say sorry and then make it better again," Bland said.
Bland said he leaves Monday to visit the vault where his father’s remains are stored and will refill the amulet, a trip he thinks TSA should pay for.
“It's the emotional thing,” Bland said. “I did this once. I don't want to do it again. I didn't ask to do it again. It was hard enough the first time.”
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.