Wife inspires Alaska TSA officer to volunteer

Friday, May 15, 2020
Martin Maricle pic

We all get our inspiration from someone in our lives. For Martin Maricle, that inspiration comes from his wife.

Maricle, a TSA officer at Alaska’s Fairbanks International Airport, devotes much of his off-duty time volunteering to help his community. Before joining TSA in June 2018, he worked as a

Maricle pic

wildland firefighter, a fire manager for the Alaska Division of Forestry, and served as a volunteer fireman for 15 years.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Maricle and his wife Gail spent much of their time volunteering at the Fairbanks Community Food Bank, and he plans to return as soon as he can. Maricle is in the higher-risk category and is currently unable to volunteer or work at the TSA checkpoint. He’s among those employees approved for weather and safety leave.

“I’ve always enjoyed helping the local community where my skill set can be put to use, and it makes me feel good,” said Maricle. “To be on the safe side for other people and myself, [my

wife and I] kind of knocked off doing it right now. Once things are stabilized, we’re going to go right back into what we were doing in the past.”

For the last several years, the couple has developed food boxes for people in need and sorted through produce. “The food that was bad – the bad vegetables or fruit – would go to the pigs, and the rest would go to agencies to distribute to local families,” Maricle said.

Maricle said his wife inspired him to join the volunteer effort at the food bank. “She had been volunteering at the food bank for years,” he said, “and I thought that’s something I’d really like to do with her, because then we would spend quality time together doing something for the community.”

Maricle donating

On top of giving his time at the food bank, Maricle has donated a whopping six gallons of blood. That’s 48 trips to the blood bank to give a pint.

“I have always felt blessed and lucky in my life,” he said. “I consider blood a renewable resource, and donating blood is a lifesaving gesture.”

Maricle appreciates the flexibility TSA Fairbanks has given him to serve in the community. “TSA has been really good about working with their employees to give them time to do things. Their schedules have always been flexible. That’s allowed me to continue doing things like working at the food bank and donating blood.”

He encourages others to volunteer.

“In my view, it’s important to give back to the community,” said Maricle. “It’s a really good way of using your time and is something that benefits the community as well as the individuals who volunteer.”