Phil Johnson loves to start each morning on the back porch of his home visiting with his wife Kathy. The new day and opportunity that comes with it is not lost on Johnson.
“I’m an alcoholic,” he said in an interview with WOWT 6 News. “I drank for 35 years, and when I say drank, it wasn’t just a little bit. Lots of shots, lots of different jobs, and a loss of pretty much everything I had.”
Johnson is now 12 years sober and he credits Alcoholics Anonymous along with a renewed relationship with God for rescuing him from a hopeless situation.
“It’s absolutely a miracle, it’s not anything I could have accomplished on my own.”
Johnson now employed by Goodwill Industries as Offutt-Stratcom Project Manager. He’s in charge of a crew that has the never ending task of base cleaning.
"Our employees have disabilities, but you know what, they're not disabilities, they're just different abilities. They’re different than yours and mine. They're fantastic group of people, I love each and every one of them, they have very special meaning to me."
That respect was evident throughout the afternoon as Johnson managed his workers. At the heart of his restoration is the focus on helping other people.
"That's what the whole program is all about. Not only with the AA program but also the here in the ability one program, it's all about helping others. Years and years ago and even to this day, people so freely give of their time and what they've got to offer me, and I try to do the same thing for anybody suffering with alcohol or any type of addiction, or my employees here in the ability one program.”
Johnson is also thankful for the time he is now able to spend with his daughter Barbie.
"Up until June 6 of 2014, it was the first time I had ever talked to her. She was 34 years old at that time. She blessed me with four grandchildren, that I didn't know even existed. How I could miss those blessing and how I didn't take advantage of the opportunity through their growing years, you know, that's what alcohol does, that's what it did to me.”
From homelessness and despair for Phil Johnson to a life rich with purpose and blessings.
“My wife and I are now enjoying this trip and this ride together!”