Ford grew up an orphan on the streets of Duluth, Minnesota. He’s an 83 year old Korean War Veteran, a loving father, and a die-hard Vikings Football fan.
Ford’s incredible sacrifice for our country is characterized by the letter of commendation he received for his bravery during the Korean War. While in combat, Ford crossed the front lines and brought back two wounded Greek soldiers who had been hit with mortar shells. He was recognized with letter of commendation for bravery and is one of the only two American soldiers who were able to wear a Greek Army badge on their uniform.
Ford and his family have been fans of the Minnesota Vikings since their first game in 1961. In fact, a Vikings game in 1961 was the first and only Vikings game that Ford had been to in his entire life. They have watched the Vikings play every Sunday for decades, but due to health issues and financial constraints, they were unable to go to another game. To Ford and his family, the Minnesota Vikings are more than a sports team.
On September 18th, 2015, Wish of a Lifetime sent Ford and his son Tim from Montana to Minneapolis for an experience that will forever change Ford’s life. On Saturday, September 19th, Ford and Tim took a trip to the Vikings Training Facility, where they got a private tour, and met their favorite players. At the end of practice, Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer introduced Ford to the team, and Ford got to “break the huddle.” Ford was wearing his favorite player’s jersey, Adrian Peterson, and at one point he felt a tug on his jersey, only to find out that it was Adrian Peterson himself, signing his jersey. The following day, Ford and Tim went got VIP passes to the Vikings versus the Detroit Lions football game, where they watched the pregame warm-ups from the sidelines. The Vikings won 26 to 16. “It was an unbelievable experience,” said Ford. His granddaughter, Jenn, said, “It was the best thing to happen in a long time and it helped bring some of our family closer together than we have been in quite a while.” Special thanks to the Minnesota Vikings Football team and the Westin Minneapolis Hotel for making Ford’s dream become a reality.