Blue Horizons for Autism

People rushing through the airport on the way to any of our 50+ nonstop destinations often overlook a team of unsung (and un-paid) heroes—a group of volunteers in green polos, armed with a wealth of knowledge to help you get from A to B, and the heart to match.

San Diego International Airport’s 310 Volunteer Airport Ambassadors help serve airport customers with more than 975 volunteer hours every week. In addition to advising lost travelers, or pointing folks in the direction of the Loop Bus, these volunteers do so much more.

In April of 2008, the TSA began their Military Severely Injured Assistance program. The program is designed to identify military service personnel and veterans needing special consideration in security screening. At that time, the Volunteer Airport Ambassadors began working with airport TSA to assist those identified passengers from curbside to their gate, and also upon arrival. To date, San Diego’s Volunteer Airport Ambassadors have assisted more than 4,000 Wounded Warriors.

While the TSA has already honored the Travelers Aid Visitor Services Director, Gina Bernsen and the Airport Ambassadors twice with their Partnership Award, this week three Airport Ambassadors were singled out for their extraordinary service.

On April 7, 2014, three amazing women were awarded a special TSA Coin for their service in 2013—Ginna James for 958 assists, Dottie Herzog for 350 assists and Barbara Sturgeon for 99 assists. These women have worked tirelessly in support of our Wounded Warriors and have even been known to receive personal calls from veterans who have left the service but are still hoping for assistance. One such veteran was so touched by her kindness that he gave his newborn daughter the middle name, Ginna.

Next time you walk through the terminal and see someone in a green “Airport Information” polo, be sure to remember that these volunteers do so much more for our guests and our community than merely give directions—they give their heart and soul to our customers and we can’t thank them enough for that.