BOISE, ID — Prior to the government shutdown, being a TSA agent was often a thankless job-- many busy travelers treating them just as a hurdle before they get to their gate.
But now, after more than a month of the government shutdown, things are changing.
According to a spokesperson for Boise Airport, airport staff are rallying around federal employees who currently working without pay-- by giving free meals, coffee, and snacks to TSA, Customs and Border Patrol Agents, and FAA Air Traffic Control Specialists. But TSA's Federal Decurity Director, Andrew Coose, says airport staff is not the only group they're seeing support from; he tells me of a recent instance with an unknown woman who arrived at the checkpoint area asking to see a manager.
"And I said 'What can I help you with?, and she said, 'A couple of years ago, I was almost homeless.' And she said, 'And i know what it means to not have-- sorry i get a little emotional-- I know what it means to not have money, not have a paycheck coming in.' And she said, 'I want to give these these gift cards to your employees.' And she pulled out eight 25 dollar gift cards to Winco."
An airport rep says many TSA agents have reported how nice everyone is being to them, clad with smiles and gratitude, and that it's helping to boost morale. But if you feel inclined to give, Coose says the administration cannot accept cash or check, but can accept pre-paid grocery or fuel giftcards from businesses such as Winco, Amazon, or Chevron.
For the full story on the community graciousness during this time, tune in Wednesday morning to Good Morning Idaho.