I arrived back in the States last night. While selected for special customs screening, it was relatively painless. After being sent to the counter between the red pillars (never a good sign), I met with a customs officer. He looked at my paperwork, and noted that my travel took me to the UK, Jordan, and Iraq. "Yeah," I replied, "and I cant figure out why I would be selected for a special customs search." The Customs Officer then offered dryly, "Its a random search." After a few questions, including the standard repitition of questions to see if I would waiver, he let me through with a short stop at the Dept. of Agriculture desk (I have visited a farming area in the last week, and therefore they had to disinfect my shoes).
By contrast, I heard a very bad story about how the soldiers were treated on return at Atlantas airport. Sgt. Mattocks from the 196th traveled back to the United States for leave in June. When he got off the airplane in Atlanta, they had a special line for the soldiers, where they made them all remove their boots, hike up their desert camouflage uniform pants to about their knees, open their belts, and stand in a line of about 300 soldiers waiting to be searched. Aside from subjecting them to even closer scrutiny than they subjected to non-U.S. citizens traveling to the states, the TSA operated this procedure in front of the foreign travelers. This sent a very bad message about how we treat our soldiers.