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Honoring Our Heroes

Master Sergeant Thomas Charles Ford: Age: 84

Master Sergeant (MSgt) Thomas Charles Ford served 20 years in the United States Air Force, and his Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) was medical technician. He received the Good Conduct Medal three times, the Unit Citation and the Meritorious Service Medal.

MSgt Ford was born October 21, 1938 to his parents, Thomas Edward and Julia Ford at Antigo, Wisconsin. Although he dropped out of high school at age 18 and entered military service, he received a B.S. Degree in Business in 1973 and a Master’s Degree in Business in 1976 from Auburn University using the Veterans Administration Tuition Assistance while still in military service.

MSgt Ford enlisted in the U.S. Air Force March 3, 1957 at the induction center at Milwaukee, WI. MSgt Ford completed 15 weeks of Basic Training at Lackland, Air Force Base (AFB), TX. He trained as a medic for four months at the Naval Station Great Lakes. His first assignment was at Olmstead AFB, PA, for 18 months where he worked in the dispensary, the emergency room and the wards. He was transferred to Elmendorf AFB, AK, for two years where he worked in the hospital first in the emergency room and then as a surgical technician for three months. He was transferred to Andrews AFB for a one year assignment working in the emergency room 1961-1962, trained as a cardio-pulmonary technician at the nearby National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, MD, for one year 1962-1963 and then returned to Andrews AFB working as a cardio-pulmonary technician for two years 1963-1965. He was next deployed to work as a cardio-pulmonary technician at the hospital at Wiesbaden Air Base, Germany, for three years. He returned to the U.S.A. to work as a cardio-pulmonary technician at Travis AFB, CA, for three years where he worked in the hospital for two years and then cross-trained as a computer program technician for one year while at Travis AFB. Next, he went to Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C. where he worked as a computer programmer. His final assignment was at Maxwell AFB, AL, as a computer programmer where he retired March 31, 1977.

MSgt Ford and his wife, Doris, have been married 58 years, and they have three children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Since retirement, he served as a volunteer repackaging medicines at Medical Outreach Ministries, a medical clinic for uninsured adults at Montgomery, AL. He is a member of Frazer Church, at Montgomery, AL, where he volunteered in the kitchen and served on the Board of Stewards. For recreation, he has enjoyed bowling.

MSgt Ford’s conclusions about what serving in the military has meant to him are: “It saved me. It gave me a future. My parents did not have much. I was interested in doing something for my country. My great-great grandfather had served in the American Revolution and the War of 1812. My great-grandfather served in the Civil War. I wanted to continue my family’s tradition of military service. It was time well spent. If I had to do it, I would do it over again.”

 

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