Airman presents flag to reality television star
By Senior Airman Benjamin Sutton, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 09, 2011
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Staff Sgt. Patrick Mackey, 366th Logistics Readiness Squadron quality assurance inspector, wanted to thank the star of his favorite television show, "Paul Jr." Teutal of American Chopper: Sr. vs Jr., for his support of the military.
On the show Paul Jr. and his crew build custom motorcycles for top companies and major charities. The show frequently features military personnel and veterans on the show by giving them the opportunity to help work on the motorcycles as a way of showing appreciation for their service.
In turn, Mackey decided to send Paul Jr. a flag he flew at 14 different bases throughout Iraq during convoy logistical patrols.
"This was an opportunity for me to showcase the 366th Fighter Wing and particularly the MHAFB mission to a national audience," said Mackey. "I sent Paul Jr. an email about the flag and less than 10 hours later he called me back. Every time I watch the show, he and the guys from the shop are always very appreciative of the military and the job we do."
While in Rock Tavern, N.Y., Mackey presented Paul Jr. with the flag and was able to experience the process of filming a reality television show.
"I had such an awesome experience at the shop," said Mackey. "There is no high-definition television or camera that can match what is like to see these machines up close. What surprised me the most was how involved and intricate the filming is. There were sound and lighting people, a bunch of producers and two guys filming almost all the time."
According to Mackey, Paul Jr. personally showed him all the bikes being built, let him start a few of them up and even allowed him to help work on a few.
"All the members of the shop were really professional," said Mackey. "They took the time out of their workday to show me around and answer my questions. Actually seeing how intricate the bikes are and talking with the guys who have built them from the beginning was the best part for me.
"I was able to see the Gears of War Trike, AntiVenom bike, Jared Allen bike which is for wounded warriors, the CADILLAC Bike, and helped take apart the Black Widow Bike," continued Mackey. "There are currently more than six bikes being built or rebuilt and I was able to watch how they do their quality assurance processes."
Mackey explained to the members of the show about the different career fields in the military and showcased his particular job.
"I wanted to show people what Airmen in my career field really do," said Mackey. "When we deploy we run convoys which provide much needed supplies throughout the areas of operation, which directly affects the mission."