It isn't strictly a national security law topic, but I thought I would share my experience in renewing my passport this past week. I returned home from Abu Dhabi on September 21, with a passport that was due to expire in a few weeks. I'd long planned to send the passport off when I returned, but my heart sank as I came back home and saw the reality of an impending Federal shutdown. Visa and passport services are, after all, non-essential. And so it was with great trepidation that I sent my passport off for renewal on Monday September 24. Granted, I sent it by overnight mail and with a fee for expedition, but even expedited processing was said to run 2-3 weeks. I didn't expect to see my passport for a rather great while.
Imagine, then, my surprise and joy when my new passport arrived yesterday, October 1. It had been issued on Sept. 30 and sent out for overnight return delivery. Obviously someone at the State Department passport renewal center was working overtime in anticipation of the furlough situation. That's the type of customer service mentality that far too many Americans think is no longer part of the Federal workforce. If my experience is any guide -- they are just plain wrong. Kudos to anonymous person who worked to get my passport back to me in 8 days. I don't know who you are, but you have my thanks and appreciation.