John Mensing

Profile Updated: September 30, 2014
Residing In New Braunfels, TX USA
Spouse/Partner Carol Mensing
Occupation Retired
Military Service USAF  

OK, a short ? history: Off to the University of Texas -Bachelors in 1968, then grad school also at UT - MBA 1970. Planned to begin a marketing career with IBM or the like, but economy was bad in '70; offered a teaching position at San Antonio College and at UTSA, but had accepted a job with the Interstate Commerce Commission in Ft. Worth (given the times, US govt was last place I thought I might work). However, I was immediately given responsibility as an Investigator with lots of travel, and after 20 months promotion to Special Agent in Charge of Houston Field Office. That agency declined due to national politics in the early 80s. But, in the wake of high profile hijackings, the FAA was looking for Air Marshals, persons who could shoot, and with investigative/law enforcement experience. I signed on in '86 as a Special Agent and among other duties, was responsible for ensuring aviation security at 7 South Texas airports including San Antonio. Became Supervisory Special Agent as we added personnel. I enjoyed the air travel and even being detailed (too frequently) to D.C. to assist and offer input on developing security technology for implementation at our airports. Extended deployments to Mexico and to Manila, The Philippines, proved fascinating -- capturing a drug runner and his plane in Guadalajara, and dodging armed "bandits" (now called terrorists) in Manila offered a bit more adventure than anticipated. In '97 promoted to Federal Security Manager at Houston Intercontinental (one of only 12 FSMs at the 12 largest US airports - by law reporting only to FAA HQ). Experienced the longest day of my life and that of so many others on Sept. 11, 2001. My job that day was to coordinate FAA response in the Interagency Command Center at IAH - basically ensuring no aircraft took off and all planes approaching Houston plus all Continental Airlines aircraft system-wide landed safely and were properly secured. Received a commendation from the Secretary of Transportation, but really I was just doing my job. A very sad day. I planned to retire at years-end 2001, but the new Homeland Security director for Houston asked me to stay on for a couple months to bring him up to speed on aviation security. This turned into a 2-year detail to Homeland Security. The DHS director (ex-DEA high-level mgr) not only proved to be extremely competent but a born salesman - he sold me on staying. However, I had no interest in joining DHS long term, and retired in 2003 - blessed with a varied career full of experiences I never would have had in some corporate office.

School Story

Like other classmates I came to Lee when it opened my 7th grade year. I enjoy telling people it took me 6 years to finish high school.
In those days, the Junior High was the east wing building, and Principal Ken Flory made it clear that Jr. High students should not go through the main High School building on pain of severe punishment. It was not a fun thing, walking outside from the east wing to and from the gym every day in heat, rain, or cold. I was a tall kid for a 7th grader and decided one hot day to blend with the high-schoolers and walk the main hall to PE. The HS kids barely noticed me. But as I approached the office area, there stood Mr. Flory, as I learned he did every day, with arms crossed and a severe look. I thought I was busted, stared straight ahead and kept walking - undetected. And, I kept walking that hall for the next 6 years. One day in our Senior year, Mr. Flory stopped me - and said, "Son, haven't you been going to this school for a very long time?" I confessed the truth, and it was one of the few time I saw him laugh.

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John Mensing has a birthday today.
Jul 09, 2019 at 3:34 AM
John Mensing has a birthday today.
Jul 09, 2018 at 3:33 AM
John Mensing posted a message.
Jul 18, 2017 at 2:46 PM

Mike, many thanks for the B-day wishes. Please excuse the delay in replying - we have been on our annual summer road trip to Lake Tahoe. Now settled in and enjoying the cool mountain air. Sounds like you had a good time under your lids during the alley cruise - but you really should get a room for that kind of canoodling !!

John Mensing has a birthday today.
Jul 09, 2017 at 3:33 AM
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Jul 08, 2017 at 5:02 PM

Posted on: Jul 08, 2017 at 12:05 PM

David, thanks for the birthday thoughts. I see you have one coming up as well, so advance happy B-Day to you also.

John Mensing posted a message.
Jul 08, 2017 at 12:03 PM

Thank you so much, Rozana. Hope to see you at our New Braunfels breakfast club gatherings off and on. I will miss July and August, however, to be a "summer Californian."

John Mensing posted a message.
Oct 24, 2016 at 11:39 AM

Doug, as always the photos of your travels are amazing and I particularly enjoyed the scenes of Venice. Has to be one of the most unique cities in the world.

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Jul 09, 2016 at 9:41 AM

Posted on: Jul 09, 2016 at 3:33 AM

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May 30, 2016 at 2:26 PM

Posted on: May 30, 2016 at 2:26 PM

Between April 8th and April 11th, 2016, Inna and I visited the Sequoia National Park in California, not too far from Fresno. We stayed at the Wuksachi Lodge, which is rustic and at an altitude over 7,000 ft. During one of our hikes, we came across a giant Sequoia tree on the trail to Sunset Rock, where I took this photo of Inna hugging the tree. Based on other Sequoia trees that had some information associated with them, I expect that this tree was more than 2,000 years old. I put my hand on the tree for several seconds and had somewhat of a connecting and spiritual experience thinking that I was in contact with a living thing more than 2,000 years old. These trees, now as opposed to the early 1900s and before that, are protected under the law and hopefully they will be around for another 1,000 years.
John Mensing posted a message.
Aug 26, 2015 at 12:31 PM

Doug, wonderful photos as always and looks like you will have many more photo ops on Whidbey. As Mike said, the fires are really bad in the West this year. We recently returned from a couple months escaping the Texas heat out at Lake Tahoe, and smoke was in the valleys most of that time - then followed us home all the way to New Braunfels. Drought and recent lightning storms are a bad combination.

John Mensing posted a message.
Jul 11, 2015 at 11:51 PM

Mike, thanks for the good birthday wishes. We were on the road to Lake Tahoe and actually in Las Vegas on the big day, thus my late response. Alas no spicy sausage from behind the auto place, but did have some good food at the casino, oops, I meant the hotel.

John Mensing has a birthday today.
Jul 09, 2015 at 3:34 AM
John Mensing posted a message.
Jul 03, 2015 at 2:57 PM

Rozana, hope you are having a great time in Florida and wish you a (belated) happy birthday. Also, I know you are very proud of your dad and his well deserved Hall of Fame honor. He had an amazing career and was particularly known for bringing many major leaguers to the Dodgers organization, as I recall.
We still plan to get into town to eat at Fratello's - a couple of medical issues had delayed those plans for a while.

John Mensing posted a message.
Jul 02, 2015 at 4:23 PM

David - I see you also have a birthday coming in a couple weeks. We will be out of town about then, so my best wishes in advance for a great day and many more to come.

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Jan 26, 2015 at 4:25 PM
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Jan 26, 2015 at 4:11 PM
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Oct 27, 2015 at 8:14 PM

Posted on: Oct 27, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Happy B-day, Ray. It was great to visit with you and Jackie at the reunion, and I hope to continue seeing you guys at Longhorn games for many years to come. Hook 'em

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Sep 30, 2014 at 2:10 PM
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Jul 14, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Posted on: Jul 14, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Mike, thanks for your kind message on my birthday; I look forward to the reunion. I also want to say how much I appreciated the story you related in regard to Miguel Najar's funeral service. I did not play football, being a mediocre basketball guy for a couple of years, but Miguel was in my homeroom and I considered him a friend. His presence livened that half hour, particularly the occasional Native American solo rain dance.

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Jun 11, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Posted on: Jun 11, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Hey, Sharon. Good to see you have joined the site. I recall several law enforcement conferences/intel-sharing meetings we attended together. Hope you can make the reunion. We also live near The Bandit in New Braunfels, and just recently hit some balls (poorly) on the range there.

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Posted: Jan 30, 2014 at 1:23 PM
Posted: Jan 30, 2014 at 1:22 PM