TSA’s 20th anniversary was a special day in more ways than one in South Carolina. In addition to commemorating the agency’s milestone birthday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued an official proclamation, declaring November 19, 2021, TSA Appreciation Day.
In the proclamation, McMaster recognized South Carolina’s TSA employees “for their extraordinary service and dedication to the essential daily work of protecting all modes of transportation from threats to safety and security.”
Members of Congress took note of the special proclamation. Sen. Tim Scott wrote a letter to the state’s TSA employees expressing his gratitude for their willingness to protect the security of our country.
“Your courage and loyalty demonstrates your commitment to the people of South Carolina,” Scott wrote. “You serve as an invaluable resource to your community, and we are most appreciative of your dedication to the safety of Americans. Your efforts serve as an example for all those you meet each day.”
Rep. Ralph Norman offered his congratulations in a separate letter to the TSA South Carolina workforce, saying, “I am dependent upon the TSA in order to properly fulfill my duties in Washington, D.C. This requires frequent travel, to and from, and only made possible by the TSA agents. Through your service we are able to travel to greater heights. I thank you for your service to our state and country.”
TSA officials at airports across the state recognized the governor’s proclamation during ceremonies in their respective security checkpoints. South Carolina Aeronautics Commission Executive Director James Stephens joined the proclamation ceremony at Charleston International Airport (CHS).
“The South Carolina Aeronautics Commission is also proud to recognize the (TSA) staff who work here in South Carolina,” said Stephens. “Because of their service, passengers who travel through one of our commercial service airports are protected from threats to aviation safety and security, and their professionalism is often noted by those who are served. The TSA leadership here in the state is one of the best we’ve ever worked with, and I’m thankful to have them as part of Team South Carolina!”
David McMahon, South Carolina’s TSA federal security director (FSD), feels the governor’s proclamation is a prime example of the strong partnership with public and private agencies.
“Our partnership with stakeholders has been very good, but I committed to the workforce that I wanted state officials and public/private entities to know our workforce and truly understand our mission of protecting the traveling public,” McMahon emphasized. “Having been in South Carolina for almost two years, I have witnessed the dedication of this workforce across all six airports, and although we experienced a dramatic slowdown in passenger travel at the beginning of COVID-19, this workforce stayed the course, carried out the mission and took care of their families, themselves and teammates. I have been extremely proud and honored to serve as their FSD.”
CHS Lead TSA Officer Derrick McFadden joined TSA over nine years ago at John F. Kennedy International Airport to start a new career and serve his country.
“It’s a great deal of pride to work for the agency, especially because I lived in New York at the time 9/11 happened and remember the horrible feeling of seeing the events unfold out of my window,” said McFadden. “Now I come to work each day knowing I’m part of a team that’s here to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
On TSA’s 20th anniversary, McFadden added, “I reflect on the people I’ve gotten to meet, places the job has taken me and serving the public.
CHS TSA Officer Brenda Grant has been part of the TSA family for nearly 18 of the agency’s 20 years and is proud to wear her blue uniform.
“I must say this has been one of the most rewarding careers I have worked,” Grant proclaimed. “I proudly wear my uniform knowing that I make a difference in thousands of lives each and every day. When representing TSA at local career fairs, I inform potential officers to look forward to a gratifying career. Always provide the utmost customer service to passengers without compromising security. I can honestly say it has been and continues to be not only an honor to work for TSA, but also a true privilege.”
As the assistant federal security director for law enforcement, Roy Gooch said he is constantly impressed with employees’ dedication, work ethic and patriotism.
“The governor’s proclamation is very special because it serves as documented affirmation by recognizing TSA as a driven, professional force that is necessary in safeguarding our nation and its transportation systems,” Gooch noted. “I’m proud to serve in the TSA workforce and honored to be part of Team South Carolina.”
By Don Wagner, TSA Strategic Communications and Public Affairs