Center for Strategic Communication

Ed note: The Transportation Security Administration's Historian Project believes it's important for an agency to know how far they’ve come and who has helped pave the way. They use an online tool called StoryLine to capture personal stories and recently, they asked employees to share their personal remembrances of 9/11 and how that day inspired their decision to work for TSA. 

It was the perfect September morning. A slight breeze, cool, crisp – just a great day to be supporting our Country working at the Pentagon.

The best part, I had met my soul mate there and had asked her to be my wife just days before 9/11. (She said Yes!!!) I worked as the Property Book Officer & Logistics Coordinator for the Chief of Staff of the Army. She worked in the Army Budget Office supporting the Army Staff. That's how we met.

Due to Fiscal Year Close-Out activities, we drove in extra early that morning. The budget office gets pretty hectic in September. And, me being in Logistics, was always looking for more money from them to plug into various end-of-year projects.

Again, it was just a beautiful day – then came the attack….

That morning, I had to leave the building, but as soon as I heard about the attacks at the World Trade Center, I headed straight back to my office. I got back just as the Pentagon was attacked……

Being an Army Trained Combat Lifesaver, I immediately ran toward the destruction – as so many of us did. Rendering emergency first aid, carrying casualties, everything and anything to help in this disaster is what we did.  For 22 straight hours, we did whatever we could on that HeliPad. A little after 7 a.m., the next morning, I went home.


My soul mate, Molly Lou McKenzie, would not be coming home. She, like most of the Army Budget Office, took a direct hit during the attack.

I stayed on at the Pentagon until 2008 when I had the opportunity to come to TSA. It seemed “fitting” for me to come here. To at least do my part to ensure no other person has to feel the loss of a Mother or a Father, a Brother or a Sister, a Son or a Daughter – or a fiancée……

Ken Johnson TSA

Read more 9/11 stories from the TSA's StoryLine