Eric grew up on a dairy farm in Northeastern Michigan. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Professional Aeronautics and a minor in Aviation Business Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Eric served in the U. S. Air Force for 22 years and was awarded the U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal five times. In 1986 he was selected as the USAF Outstanding Aircraft Maintenance Technician Supervisor of the Year and honored in Washington DC. Prior to retiring from the military in 1998, he served as superintendent of Process Engineering HQ Air Combat Command at Langley AFB VA. From 1998-2012 he worked in the state of Washington in construction management.
Currently Eric lives with his wife, Alice, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They have two children. Their son, Andrew, is the program advisor and lead instructor of the Machine Tool Technology and Millwright Apprentice Programs at Alpena Community College, and their daughter, Dorothy, is a student at Northern Michigan University. Dorothy lives in an apartment near campus and has hired three in-home caregivers who, along with her parents, provide her care. Dorothy requires care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.