(As the Twin Cities gear up to host the upcoming Superbowl and the Minnesota Vikings head into an important playoff game this weekend, I can't help but have memories of this awesome day which appeared on my blog September 23, 2015.)
He grew up an orphan on the streets of Duluth, Minnesota. He is an 83 year old Korean War Veteran, a loving father, and a diehard Vikings Football fan.
Ford Lund's incredible sacrifice for this country is characterized by the letter of condemnation he received for his bravery during the Korean War. While in combat, he 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 he has been to in his entire life. Ford and his family have watched the Vikings play every Sunday for decades, but due to health issues and financial constraints, they have been unable to go to another game. To him and his family, the Minnesota Vikings are more than a sports team, they are a family passion and a recognition of their home state.
Thanks to Wish of a Lifetime and the Minnesota Vikings, Ford's dream to go to another Vikings game became a reality on September 18, 2015, when they flew Ford and his son Tim from Montana to Minnesota for an unforgettable Vikings weekend.
I was honored to be invited to be the event photographer and to document the experience for this charming man and his son.
A person's life can be changed by the kindness you show.
Wish of a Lifetime is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to shift the way society views and values our oldest generations by fulfilling seniors’ dreams and sharing their stories to inspire those of all ages.
Seniors are nominated by others and then a team at WOAL go to work to make it happen! To learn more about this great organization, visit their website!
PS. After a day at Winter Park with the Vikings, Ford and his son were guests at the Vikings game against the Detroit Lions. (Ford - you must good luck because Vikings had a grand win at 26-16!)