By: Salina Sanders
Larry Allbee grew up in Waukegan, Illinois, and joined the Army as soon as he could. Starting out at the young age of 18, Larry served our country for twenty years. Currently, Larry has two daughters and a son, as well as four grandchildren. After he retired from the Army in 1993 as a Sergeant first class, Larry moved to Mississippi to get his son a better education. He has been working with the Tupelo airport for the last seventeen years, and he says he couldn’t ask for better coworkers.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Larry felt that he could still do more for his country. Even though he was retired, he wanted another opportunity to continue providing security and safety to the American people. So, he applied for a job with the Tupelo airport to become a screener, and has been working airport security ever since.
A typical day usually runs pretty smooth for Larry, he says, because he’s got a great crew. It’s usually pretty easygoing because Larry can get the customers to lighten up and go along with the airport security measures. Sometimes, he serves as the Lead Transportation Security Officer, and many days Larry takes over as supervisor. On those days, he must do all the paperwork and make sure the personnel are doing their assigned jobs and completing their daily training.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job? The most rewarding part of my job is making sure that the American public is safe when they leave this airport. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, but really at the end of the day that’s the most important thing to all of us. We want to make sure that every single one of our passengers are able to leave this airport and return safely to their families.
What I do matters because… it ensures that everyone who passes through the Tupelo airport is safe and secure when they get on our planes. Like I said, 9/11 was really a wake up call for a lot of people. None of us working in airport security ever want to see something like that happen again. If I am able to save even one person from harm by being careful at the screening points and being alert and aware while our passengers are going through security, then I’ve made a difference.
What are you most proud of at work? I’m most proud of my crew, believe it or not. The people that work with us do an outstanding job, so I’m definitely most proud of my crew and the people I work with. Speaking of which, I want to acknowledge both Ervonia Stasko for being an excellent manager, and Mario O’Neal for being an incredible supervisor. All three of us have been working together since 2002, and I absolutely could not ask for better people to work with.