Jerry Johnson is extensively involved in the Fort Lewis, WA, Army Family Team Building Program (AFTB), which began in June 2001, has been instrumental in developing one of the Army's finest programs. The goal of AFTB is to increase personal skills, provide basic knowledge of the Army, enhance personal development at a professional-level, and provide leadership development opportunities for Army families.
Each Christmas season Johnson spends from mid-November through Christmas Day as Santa. He visits Family Readiness Group meetings, the Waiting Family Support Group, and the Exceptional Family Member Program Christmas party and spends countless hours having his picture taken with children and adults. He is also Santa for the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Fort Lewis.
Johnson volunteers in the Fort Lewis Retirement Office. He has served as a member of the Retiree council since 1985. He assists with planning for the annual Retiree Day, and assists with the biannual Retiree Newsletter which is mailed to over 50,000 retirees in the Northwest.
Each year Fort Lewis conducts a conference to solicit suggestions from Soldiers and families regarding ways to improve the Army. Suggestions are worked on at the local level, and the best are forwarded to higher headquarters. Johnson has participated in this Army Family Action Plan event for the past six years and has represented I Corps and Fort Lewis locally and at higher headquarters.
Johnson volunteers within the surrounding communities; and is Commander of the Tumnwater, WA Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) where he chairs the annual VFW Voice of Democracy, Patriot's Pen, and Junior Essay contests. He also plays a major role in procuring VFW donations for Fort Lewis family programs.
As Chairman of the Thurston County (Olympia area) Veterans' Council, he organizes and MCs the annual Veterans' Day and Memorial Day ceremonies at the state capital in Olympia. He also finds time to his busy schedule to volunteer at the Washington state Veterans' Home in Retsil, WA. He escorts residents on shopping and sightseeing trips, and to dinner outings. He provides residents with books, videos, puzzles, and clothing. Cooking is another passion, and he cooks and serves food each year at the Retsil Annual Family Day activity.
In addition to all these programs, Johnson is the Chair of the Culinary Arts Advisory Council at Clover Park Technical College, in Tacoma, WA, and Chef de Train of Thurston County Voiture 151 of the Forty and Eight (a Veterans service organization) where he assists in providing nursing scholarships and encourages recipients to utilize their training in military or Veterans hospitals. He is also a Roundtable Commissioner for the Sasquatch District of the Pacific Harbors Council of Boy Scouts.