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News Community FHS graduate earns National Unsung Hero Award

Christopher Ray VinsonChristopher Ray Vinson, a 1993 graduate of Franklin High School, has recently been awarded the Department of Homeland Security-TSA 2013 National Unsung Hero Award. He was presented the award in Nashville, Tenn., by Federal Security Director Steve Wood and TSA Administrator John Pistole.

Vinson serves as the technical consultant for the Senior Leadership Team on all issues involving Operations Center functions and the integration of Security Operations and Headquarters data requirements vital to emerging counter-terrorism operations. The Operations Center is designed to be a fully integrated command and control center to provide proactive and reactive support for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and multi-agency security and multi-modal operations.

In addition to his work in the Operations Center, Vinson has worked on many initiatives for The Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration. Most recently he has helped shape the direction of how the Mission Risk Knowledge Center (MRKC) will integrate with field operations and what methods for collecting data from field locations are most beneficial to security, safety, and threat mitigation missions. He is a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, working closely with colleagues in the FBI, DOD, DOE, and other federal, state, and local agencies to share information and intelligence on emerging threats. Vinson also works closely with the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) on a proactive media campaign to help improve the image of DHS/TSA and to show the public the positive results of the security mission. His work with OPA earned Vinson the 2013 Unsung Hero Award.

The award recommendation was given by Assistant Federal Security Director Larry O’Barr.

“Chris Vinson is the consummate professional and has made a significant contribution to improving the image of The Department of Homeland Security/TSA in Tennessee and across the nation,” said O’Barr. Chris’ outstanding work in improving the DHS/TSA image through positive and pro-active news stories has had a direct positive impact on our mission performance … All of the work and preparation, training of the procedures and process, creation of the templates, combining, processing, and sending of the information to the Office of Public Affairs (OPA), is all done behind the scenes and in addition to the other duties and focus of his primary job. Chris' name is never attached to any of the news stories, or mentioned in any of the tweets. Nor does he ever seek to be acknowledged for any of his work. His dedication to the DHS/TSA mission, to the officers and staff not only in Tennessee but across the nation, and his steadfast willingness to always go above and beyond the call of duty without being asked or seeking accolades, truly makes Chris Vinson an unsung hero in the Department of Homeland Security/TSA campaign to put its best foot forward and tell the true and good story of the mission we accomplish every day. I cannot think of someone more deserving of the award for unsung hero,” O’Barr concluded.

Vinson lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with his wife and two young daughters. He is the son of Ray and Linda R. Vinson of Franklin.

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