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10 Years for TSA and AFGE Says Thank You!

 

AFGE TSOs look back on 10 years of the Transportation Security Administration.

AFGE Local 777 President Ricky McCoy

Like thousands of other Americans, Ricky McCoy answered the call to serve in the weeks following 9/11. Ricky joined the fledgling Transportation Security Administration, which was created in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks to transfer control of airport security from the private sector to the federal government. Currently, Ricky is a Lead TSO at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and serves as president of AFGE Local 777.

It was beautiful day. I had just return from New Jersey, where I had job interview with the State Police. I came in from walking my dogs, turned on the television and there it was — a plane flying into the World Trade Center. I got so sick. The sickness was then followed by rage and anger. I could not believe this was happening – not in my country. This day changed my life forever. I never take anything for granted. Instead of taking a job with the New Jersey State Police, I applied at the Transportation Security Administration and was hired as a TSO on Sept. 1, 2002.

I joined TSA to make a difference, to be on the front line in this war against terror. I felt this was a task I had to take. I have never looked back. Even though this agency has its flaws, we the TSA workforce will always protect our skies, ports, and roads. We may be criticized by some in Congress and their cronies, but we will never forget why TSA was formed.

~~~

AFGE Local 332 President Kim Kraynak-Lambert and 332 Member Brian Silver

AFGE TSA Local 322 President Kim Kraynak-Lambert reflects on where she was that day and how the attacks have affected her life.

It was a beautiful day. I was still working for the airlines at that time and was at a station near some televisions. I remember hearing something about the World Trade Center and then going to watch the nearby television. I watched in horror as the plane crashed into the second tower.

Our airline was near the American Airlines and United Airlines ticket counters and I went to tell those agents what I just saw on television. It was like the sky was falling. I was to help passengers board a plane, so I went to the gate.

That’s when we got the news we were under attack. The Pittsburgh International Airport was shut down. Rather than get them aboard the plane, we told all the passengers to go to baggage claim, get their luggage and go home. The whole airport was like a ghost town. Later, I got on the employee bus to go to get my car out of the airline parking lot – everyone was silent, seemingly stunned. I picked up my son from school … on the car radio I heard about the plane going down in Pennsylvania. For two days it was eerie coming to work at the airport – it was so quiet.

I loved the airport environment and when I joined TSA I did so because I love my country and I wanted to serve. We believe in what we are doing.

 

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