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MEDIA ADVISORY: Remembering a hero

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

The Great Plains Chief Petty Officer Association is scheduled to dedicate their Chief’s Mess to the memory of U.S. Navy veteran and former Omaha Public Schools teacher retired Chief Petty Officer John Sheeran at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 20, 2018 at Offutt Air Force Base.

Chief Sheeran passed Nov. 8, 2015 and is buried at Offutt.

Traditionally, any naval vessel of sufficient size has a room or rooms which are off-limits to anyone not a chief, including commissioned officers, except by specific invitation. In naval jargon, this room is called the Chief's Mess, or the "goat locker."

According to his obituary, Sheeran enlisted in the U.S. Navy on December 6, 1940 and served for more than 30 years as an aviation machinist mate before retiring in 1960. During his Navy career he, as a member of the crew of the USS Wichita (CA45), was part of many World War II battles, including PQ17 and the invasion of North Africa. His squadron was part of the Berlin Air Lift and was the most active of all units in providing coal to the people of Berlin.

After his retirement, he completed his education at UNO and taught math at Norris Junior High School for 20 years. He retired from Omaha Public Schools in 1982.

There are three chief petty officer ranks: chief petty officer, senior chief petty officer, and master chief petty officer. Chiefs are recognized for exemplary technical expertise within their rating, superior administrative skills, and strong leadership ability. Most importantly, chiefs bridge the gap between officers and enlisted personnel, acting as supervisors as well as advocates for their Sailors.

Media interested in covering the dedication should contact the 55th Wing Public Affairs office at 402-294-3663 or Drew Nystrom, chief of media, at 402-312-5093; andrew.nystrom.2@us.af.mil or andrew.nystrom1@gmail.com no later than 5 p.m. Friday,, Oct. 19, 2018.