Victoria Cross recipient Johnson Beharry has described his "humiliation" after he was held up by US border officials during Donald Trump's immigration clampdown.
The Iraq war hero arrived at New York's JFK airport hours after the president ordered travel restrictions on January 27.
Long delays at immigration meant he missed a veterans' event where he was due to be a guest of honour.
Beharry, who was injured in the conflict in 2004, said he faced a wait of nearly three hours to reach the border where his passport was further scrutinised.
The 37-year-old told the Sun on Sunday he suspected he had been viewed with suspicion because of his travel to Iraq and his appearance.
He said: "I felt humiliated. I think they held me because my passport showed I had been to Iraq.
"Maybe I am a bit Asian-looking but that doesn't mean I should be treated with the same suspicion as a terrorist.
"I explained that I had been in Iraq fighting for the British Army but they didn't seem to care.
"The officials only let me in after I kicked up a fuss. It was the worst travel experience of my life."
Beharry said he witnessed "Middle Eastern-looking passengers" being pulled aside by officials enforcing the president's controversial executive order.
The move, which was promised by Mr Trump on the campaign trail, sparked widespread condemnation at home and around the world.
Mr Trump has since been locked in a legal battle over the legitimacy of the temporary ban, which restricts travel to the US from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iraq.
On Friday a judge in Seattle temporarily blocked enforcement of the ban, and the Department of Justice filed a notice on Saturday to appeal against the ruling in court.