In January 1991, I was being deployed to Operation Desert Storm.  Before boarding the C-141 transport at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, I had to go through tight security.

After a meticulous X-ray examination of my carry-on bag, I removed all metal objects from my uniform and was finally able to pass through the detector without setting off the alarm.

"Just out of curiosity," I asked the airman operating the checkpoint, "why did you make me go through all that?"

"We want to be sure you aren't carrying any weapons on board," he said, handing me back my M-16 rifle.