After 9/11, I was one of the many who worked 12-plus hours a day, six days a week. We worked through the highs and lows in defining and crafting a new Department of Homeland Security that consolidated 22 agencies while trying to do our conventional missions and our new jobs of combating terrorism. One thing that hasn’t changed is the deep sense of commitment to homeland security.
Then relatively new to the Customs Service, I joined the transition team to help start the Science and Technology Directorate in the new department. I have fond memories of the early days, including Secretary Tom Ridge coming into the Command Center and saying “Happy Birthday, Homeland Security!” and shaking each of our hands. Today, the long work hours have tapered down.
Working hand in hand toward a common mission, I have gained a deep appreciation and respect for the men and women of the agencies Science & Technology supports. I salute all of my colleagues at Homeland Security, and I enjoy the lifetime friendships that have been created.
Lin is former director of the Research and Development Branch of the Customs Service’s Applied Technology Division. She is now deputy director of the Infrastructure Protection and Disaster Management Division, Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, Washington.