On November 19, TSA will celebrate its 20th anniversary. To recognize this milestone, we asked TSA employees to share their memories from the past 20 years.
When the terrorist attacks on America happened on 9/11, I made a promise that I was going to do my part to ensure this would never happen again.
After leaving my job as a sworn law enforcement officer, I was hired at TSA in 2001 as a STSO assigned to the Mobile Screening Force (MSF). I left behind my 3-month old and 7-year old daughters and my wife; it broke my heart to leave them. But my wife was by my side and supported me, telling me to go. She said do it for the sake of our children so they never have to face anything like this ever in their lifetime; be part of history, make the American people proud.
After initial TSO training in Oklahoma City, I flew to New York City and began the federal rollout of John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). I remained at JFK for approximately three months, and then traveled on to White Plains, New York for a month before returning to my home airport[General Mitchell International Airport] in Milwaukee.
I remained an STSO for a year before being promoted to TSM, and approximately a year later I was promoted to Senior TSM. From there I took a position as the CSQIM/Stakeholder Manager.
My MSF team were my family, and to this day I still consider them my family. We all share a special bond with one another, and never take anything for granted. There aren’t many of us MSF left, but I am sure proud I was one of them. The time with TSA flew by so quickly, it’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years.
I am so proud of our workforce and the great work they do each and every day, I am honored to be afforded the opportunity to support them. I have the highest respect for this agency.
Frank B. Pipia, Jr.
General Mitchell International Airport - MKE