Gilroy Air Force Captain Meets Obama

Air Force Capt. Eric Auffhammer of Gilroy met President Obama on Monday during the president's surprise trip to Afghanistan.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Soldier talks about his moment with POTUS (Published Thursday, May 3, 2012)

    Eric Auffhammer got to shake hands and chat with President Obama this week.

    No, the Gilroy father is not a national science champ. And he doesn't wear a World Series ring.

    He's a 39-year-old captain in the Air Force, and when the president's plane touched down at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan in a suprise visit early Monday, Auffhammer was there to shake his hand.

    "It was a very surreal experience, something that I wasn't really expecting. It was very exciting for me," Auffhammer told NBC Bay Area in a Skype interview from his base overseas on Thursday. "He basically said 'Sir,' which caught me off guard. It was a very humbling experience."

    The president thanked Auffhammer for his service and that "was the extent" of their conversation.

    Auffhammer, father of four, coordinates purchases for the Air Force as a contracting officer for Defense Contract Management Agency at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale.

    His wife, Myken, and his four children -- Aaron, 20, Christian, 18, Austin, 16, and Marijka, 11 -- are waiting for him at home in Gilroy. Actually Aaron, who is in the Air Force himself, is headed out to serve in Afghanistan with his dad in a few months.

    Myken Auffhammer said her husband was on cloud nine after the presidential visit. But she only learned about it when her husband posted a photo of him and Obama on Facebook the following day.

    "I had no idea," she said. "But he was ecstatic when I talked to him."

    Auffhammer said that he's met another president during his long military service career: George Bush Sr.

    But Auffhammer didn't dare compare or contrast the presidents or divulge his politics.

    Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-432-4758 or lisa.fernandez@nbcuni.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/ljfernandez.