Bagram Airman gets Christmas Day call from the president

  • Published
  • By Capt. Brian Wagner
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Michael Stevenson received a rare phone call Dec. 25, as he answered the phone and found out President Barack Obama was on the other end.

Stevenson, who is deployed with the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron here, was selected by the Air Force leaders and the White House to receive one of the annual calls the president makes to deployed service members on Christmas Day.

"To be honest, I was definitely surprised," Stevenson said. "Something like this doesn't happen to everyone and it's a once in a lifetime deal."

Stevenson said the president personally thanked him and his family for their sacrifices.

"(The president) asked me to forward his blessings to my fellow Airmen at the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron," he said. "He also said that my wife is in his prayers, as she has been fighting breast cancer for three years."

Stevenson knew the phone call wasn't a joke after he received a few test calls from the White House.

"After holding for a few minutes and getting test calls from the White House, I knew it was true and not a joke," he said. "But when the president of the United States came on the line and said 'What's up Mike,' I was shocked to hear it was him. The whole time I was nervous knowing the president is going to call me!"

It's a moment Stevenson promised he won't forget.

"That phone call made my deployment special and it's one Christmas story that will be passed on to my children and grandkids," he said.