As you read this story, be aware that lawyers who file lawsuits almost always exaggerate the story. Something doesn’t ring true about the version of events presented by Lisa McCombs, as it’s told here.
As you read the story be aware you’re only hearing one side. The airline that is being sued has not weighed in yet, or if it has the Washington Post is not reporting its response.
After the story, I have a controversial issue to raise that relates to this alleged incident.
Excerpt from Washington Post
Lisa McCombs, a decorated Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, claims she’d never had any trouble flying with her service dog, a Labrador retriever named Jake.
That changed one year ago, when she was barred from boarding a regional American Airlines flight with Jake, who was wearing his service vest and was properly documented at the time, according to a federal lawsuit.
McCombs suffers from PTSD and relies on her dog to calm her anxiety and panic before it overwhelms her.
But as she waited to board her return flight from Manhattan, Kansas, an airline agent approached her and asked “in a condescending tone, ‘ummm, are you going to fly with that?’” the suit states.
Thus began a 48-hour nightmare, in which McCombs says she was unable to return to her home in Gulfport, Miss., while she was repeatedly interrogated, stressed and humiliated, causing her mental health to suffer.
After missing her scheduled flight, the suit claims, McCombs was “verbally assaulted” by two agents who loudly demanded, in “rapid succession,” that she tell them the nature of her disability and explain how her service dog helps.
Their conduct implied that McCombs was falsifying her disability, the suit claims, adding that their tone was so harsh that strangers began scolding the agents and trying to comfort McCombs.
“I have PTSD, look at me, I’m an anxious mess!” McCombs replied, according to the suit filed in federal court in Mississippi on Monday,
“He’s my service dog! I don’t understand why I’m being treated like this!”
McCombs, the lawsuit states, “was emotionally crushed and humiliated by the conduct of (Americans’) agents, who discriminated against her because of her disability and publicly shamed her.”
The suit alleges negligence, breach of contract and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and asks American Airlines to compensate McCombs for her airline tickets, legal fees and medical treatment. She is also pursuing damages from American and its regional subsidiary, Envoy Air, for “reckless disregard” of her rights.
Army officials say McCombs enlisted in 2005 and did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the time she was honorably discharged, in 2009, she had reached the rank of captain, according to military records. McCombs received multiple awards for service, including the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the NATO Afghanistan Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has estimated that PTSD afflicts 11 percent of veterans of the war in Afghanistan and 20 percent of veterans of the war in Iraq.
“After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping,” the VA says. “If these reactions do not go away or if they get worse, you may have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
There are two thoughts that come to my mind here:
1. Should women be serving in the American military in the capacity that Lisa McCombs did? At the risk of being labeled a misogynist, I’d say no. Women exposed to danger on the front lines in war zones have no comparative advantage relative to men. They’re not stronger. They’re not faster. They are subject to being raped by the enemy. It’s foolish, but politically correct, to say that women belong in the military on an equal footing with men.
2. More generally, compared to World War II, I perceive that the American soldier today is weak minded, suffering from this made up ailment called PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Big Pharma must be making millions every year off this ailment. And apparently, it never goes away.
Jake is a fine looking dog, but there’s a lot of scamming going on with service dogs. I’ve had people who have service dogs admit it.
Dogs are great therapists and a lot cheaper than Jewish headshrinkers. A strong country with healthy people would embrace man’s best friend, while remaining mentally strong. It’s America’s establishment encouraging mental illness that’s wrong.
Dr. Thomas Szasz argues that mental illness is a myth. The link discusses the politicalization of mental “disease.”