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Minot Airman graced with special gift

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton
  • 5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The first comic book to hit U.S. newsstands was a culmination of various stories from "The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck." It first appeared in New York in 1842. This first comic book fueled the fire of adventure and creativity for many artists throughout history, including Staff Sgt. Eric Henson who is currently stationed at Minot Air Force Base.

Sergeant Henson is the 5th Force Support Squadron's base personnel reliability program noncommissioned officer-in-charge and is dedicated to his mission, Airmen and family. But when he goes home, he can be found at his desk sketching up something new and amazing in the comic world with his daughter, Nevaeh, at his side.

"He has a gift and has it for a reason," said Jamillah Henson, Sergeant Henson's wife, who has been very supportive of her husband, especially when it comes to his art.

"Not everybody can say their husband went to the San Diego Comic-Con to show off his artwork," Jamillah said.

Sergeant Henson attended the San Diego Comic-Con from July 22 through 25 and showcased his hard work and dedication to the art of comics for the entire industry. Through the Comic-Con, Sergeant Henson received several deals and will draw for production companies.

Everyone has to start somewhere; Sergeant Henson's love affair with comics began when he was five years old when his father gave him his first comic book, "The Silver Surfer."

"My family has always encouraged me to draw," said Sergeant Henson. "When you do something good once, you try it again and again."

The sergeant's parents ensured their son had the best schooling available. Sergeant Henson attended an arts program in his home town of Jackson, Miss., from fourth grade through twelfth grade. His parents called it, "an exceptional program."

Jamillah said Sergeant Henson's mother said it was an exceptional program for an exceptional son often says, "Eric is the greatest son a mom could ever have." She also said how everything Sergeant Henson does, particularly in his art, is done in love for his parents and to make them proud.

The sergeant said he can't take credit for his gift though. He said he thanks God everyday for gracing him with the ability to bring imagination to life.

"I love drawing so much," he said. "When I draw, I can literally look into the mind of God and ask 'why did he make that nose look the way it does?'"

On Sunday mornings, Sergeant Henson can be found helping Capt. Eddie Rubero, 5th Bomb Wing protestant chaplain, by Leigh preaching during the protestant service at the Northern Lights Chapel. A Leigh preacher is someone who volunteers to give sermons, but is not an ordained minister. Sergeant Henson said his work helps in his ministry as well.

"I really love connecting comic book superheroes to the Bible," said Sergeant Henson. "Most great stories always follow the greatest story ever told -- the story of Christ."

The Henson family incorporates devotionals and Bible readings into their daily schedule as often as they are able, because "if it weren't for God's grace, I wouldn't be where I am today," said the sergeant.

"If it weren't for God, we wouldn't have ever met," said Jamillah.

What keeps bringing Sergeant Henson back to the drawing table day after day? Find out in the next story of this series highlighting his road to the sketchpad and his art.

[Editors note: This story is part one of a three part series highlighting Sergeant Henson's gift in comics and how he incorporates them and what they mean into his everyday life and family.]