Praises Air Force's Eric Johnson for his 'passion'

[Editor's Note: The following was written by Master Sgt. Kathy Wheelock, who works in the United States Air Force with Senior Master Sgt. Eric Johnson, a New Milford native.]

If you cut open my boss, Senior Master Sergeant Eric Johnson, I think he would bleed mobile jet engine oil.

He has been an aircraft engine mechanic for 29 years.

He began his career as an active-duty veteran, became a traditional reservist, and then an air reserve technician. He was a wrench turner on the line, moved up to supervisor, and then was hand-picked to be flight chief.

Senior Master Sgt. Johnson is one of the most knowledgeable supervisors I have had the pleasure to work with. Even tour groups know to request to come to his shop for briefings on engines, propellors and the aircraft.

Not only does he know everything about the aircraft, he also knows about each specialist's job as well. Every time he does a tour, I listen in amazement of the things he knows and I learn something new every time.

He has the uncanny ability to push all of his troops in a way to get the best out of each and every one of them. He also holds people accountable for things they do and don't do, which is lacking in this day and age.

I am proud to say I would stand shoulder to shoulder with Senior Master Sgt. Johnson in peacetime and in time of war. I know this might be hard for some to understand, but I love my job and going to work, and it's mainly because I work for someone who takes pride in his work.

Some would say Senior Master Sgt. Johnson is too "gung ho." I would say he is motivated and takes his commitment seriously.

He also has a strong passion for what he does. He loves what he does and he does what he loves.

I am proud to stand up and say I am an American airman and I work for Senior Master Sergeant Eric Johnson.

God bless the United States of America.

Master Sgt.

Kathy Wheelock

Keesler Air Force Base

Biloxi, Miss.