When Human Capital Military and Veteran Programs Manager Mark Escherich first heard he would be furloughed during the recent partial government shutdown, he was not too worried since he already planned to be off for the holidays.
As the furlough extended beyond the holiday season, he anxiously worked with his family to cut expenses and sought opportunities to supplement his income.
In addition to serving as TSA’s Program Manager for Military and Veteran Recruitment, Escherich is an active duty service member in the District of Columbia National Guard where he serves as a helicopter pilot. “I am lucky to have both the support of my family and the leadership at TSA to serve my country both through the federal government and the military,” he said.
In early January, he reported to his National Guard unit for his regularly assigned duties. With no end in sight to the partial shutdown and rising anxieties about his finances, Escherich looked for additional opportunities to help his unit. “My unit’s leadership understood the hardships associated with the furlough and provided me with work,” he said.
One day while on duty, his unit received a call that a Department of Defense member undergoing heart surgery needed an immediate medical evacuation. His team responded and transported the individual by helicopter to a hospital where he could receive the care he needed to survive. Hospital staff told Escherich’s team that if they had not evacuated the patient, he would have died.
“I am fortunate to have the opportunity to serve in the National Guard and participate in missions like this – an appreciation I always reflect upon during flights,” said Escherich.
He is also grateful for the opportunity to serve his country in a different way at TSA. Because of his military background and experience, Escherich considers his job as Military and Veteran Programs Manager a natural fit. At career expositions, information sessions, and military transition assistance programs across the nation, he encourages veterans to pursue employment opportunities at TSA.
“TSA is very fortunate to have Mark as its Military and Veteran Programs Manager,” said Keith Malley, Director of Recruitment and Field Hiring Operations. “Being a military member himself, Mark can relate to the service members he speaks with when he encourages them to pursue TSA job opportunities. Mark often comments how fortunate he is to have two jobs he really loves that both support his country.”