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For Tom Jones: Tribute From A Hero

tom-jones-kenny-whiteBecause in today’s difficult world a reminder of people who did the right thing in the face of unspeakable difficulty is in order, I’m happy to introduce you to Kenny White, a Port Authority Police Officer in New York City, who sent along his story and photo the other day to be posted. If you don’t know, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey owns and operate the bridges and tunnels there and, also, owned the World Trade Center. Here is Kenny’s very lovely story. I must add that, having worked for FEMA at the WTC after the first bombing in 1993, and being a New Yorker, getting stories like this and being asked to let others know about them is one of the nicest rewards of operating this site. He writes:

I have been a Port Authority Police Officer since 1983 and am a huge fan of Tom Jones. I see him on an average of six times a year.

The Port Authority owned the World Trade Center and we lost 37 cops that day so, to say the least 9/11 is a very sad day for our department.

Back in March of 2002 I was assigned to JFK Airport and we worked 7pm till 7am for 22 months straight with very few days off during that time period. On this particular day I was called back to the police desk at JFK and one of my friends told me to get into the patrol car. We drove over to Terminal 1 and went into the Virgin Air first class lounge.

My two buddies took me up to a private part of the lounge and told me to open the door. When I did to my surprise there sat Tom and his son. Tom immediately stood up and greeted us like he knew us for years. He could not have been nicer.

We spoke for quite a while and took pictures and that’s when I gave him the World Trade Center 9/11 Police Memorial Pin honoring all the Police Officers lost on that day.

Tom appeared to be truly moved by the gesture and repeatedly thanked me. I have had the honor of meeting quite a few VIPs during my career, and I can honestly say Tom was a true gentleman and it is a pleasure to have met him.

– Sergeant Kenny White

10 Responses to “For Tom Jones: Tribute From A Hero”

  1. Vince Says:

    Great story. Being born and raised in New York and still living here, it’s nice to have Tom associated with something like that.

  2. Fay Says:

    What an wonderfully real story. Seemingly, Tom Jones hasn’t forgotten his roots and his capacity to appreciate life as a real man would: Gritty, heartbreaking and ultimately very sweet. That’s our Tom!

  3. gaillovestj Says:

    On the very few occasions that I have met him I totally agree that he is a gentleman.

  4. Tom Says:

    KW: Ray and I were truly touched, I just wiped a tear from my eye. Ray choked up I cant say anymore. What else is there to say! KW and Tom the best! We will share this with all of our friends and fans

  5. Karl Tourlokis Harrison Says:

    What a story. I have know Kenny for some time and I can tell you he is a true fan. Often times I have watched him washing his underware 2 or 3 times, just he could throw them up on stage. I know when ever possible he takes his son to his concerts. His son is also a fan. Sometimes he even misses vital medical treatment just to go to a Tom Jones concert. Inspiring.

  6. Billy K Says:

    Well what can I say.Your great!We all remember how hard it was
    during that time.You protected 269 with your life.You will always be
    our hero.You carried us through (seven and a Q)

  7. bigdog Says:

    Way to go ricoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. great pic of you and Tom. I cant afford to see him six times a year but I have all of his CDs from the beginging. You are both heros.

  8. Gary Black Says:

    Kenny, this really touched me a way that only you can. During those dark days it was so nice that you could provide a meal to all the bosses and keep our sprits up. If it weren’t for you and French, some of would not have made it. You will always be our martre’d. Keep up the good work. I dream about you all the time. God Bless and I hope to see you SOON.

  9. Dr. Evil Says:


    I read, I wept, it was a life changing story. I am from a small country in khapastan and to hear such words from a man with so little to offer, makes me want to come to U.S. I have old recorder player and I listen to the Tom Jones records. I can not wait until I can hear you on the record too. You made me and my wife so happy. She want to name one of our 14 children after you. But the girl she no like your name. SO we have name the goat after you. Please send me some pictures with the signing on them. God bless you Kenny, God bless everyone.

  10. Gary Black Says:


    What a wonderful story. I remember your unwaivering dedication to your job. I know that so many bosses would have starved if it wasn’t for you. Your uncanny ablility to find the most delicious foods will not soon be forgotten. You will always be our maitre’d and your loyal, yet disgruntled side kick BusBoy (Pearson), will always be in our hearts. The sergeants will always be greatful for your free meals you gave them. Keep up the good work. You will alway be our hero, both as a man and as a sandwich.