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.

By Lisa Fernandez
|  Thursday, May 3, 2012  |  Updated 5:07 PM PDT
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Soldier talks about his moment with POTUS

Soldier talks about his moment with POTUS

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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.

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