search.noResults

search.searching

note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
LIVING


Bob Ford’s Mission: To Hit His Peak Throughout Life


DUTY CALLS Ford next to a Huey helicopter in Vietnam. Below, Ford with his daughter, Allison Ford Lewis, and granddaughter Taylor Diane Lewis.


Under siege in Vietnam, the helicopter pilot prayed for a miracle — and kept a promise in return. :: BY VERA TWEED


T


here was a deafening crack as the rocket struck the compound. “Suddenly, I was fl oating 8 feet in the


air, yelling at a guy on a bunk to grab his weapon and get to the bunker, and then I realized that guy was me,” recalls Bob Ford, author of Black Cat 2-1: The True Story of a Vietnam Helicopter Pilot and His Crew. And so began the most harrowing


three days and nights of Lt. Ford’s military service in Vietnam. A helicopter pilot and commander


of a helicopter detachment at Hue, 40 miles from the DMZ, he was no stranger to enemy fi re. It wasn’t unusual for bullets to narrowly miss, and sometimes hit, his Huey, as he transported wounded soldiers and supplies. But this was diff erent. It was the start of the Tet Off ensive


and Ford was among 200 American soldiers trapped in their compound,


fi ghting off 5,000 North Vietnamese. Flying bullets and explosions surrounded him and, even in the bunkers, men were getting hit and dying.


THE PROMISE “God, I prayed, if you get me out of this . . .” And then he paused. What promise could he keep, with unshakable certainty? “I knew I couldn’t be a preacher


or missionary; it had to be something I could do for the rest of my life,” he tells Newsmax. “I’ll stay in shape, God,” he vowed, “That’s the best I can do.” Ford survived his year-long tour in


combat, fl ying over 1,000 missions, and after spending another year training helicopter pilots in Fort Wolters, Texas, he returned to civilian life running a business and raising a family in Okeene, Okla. For 50 years after vowing to stay in shape, Ford has proudly worn his


military uniform each Veteran’s Day, and it’s still a perfect fi t. But that’s no accident. After being discharged, he started


training and completed more than 250 races, ranging from 5Ks to marathons. Two were Ironman triathlons, each consisting of a 2.4- mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run. He completed the last Ironman, at age 50, in 10 hours, 57 minutes. Routinely beating younger


runners, Ford kept competing in shorter races until he was 62, when his knees were no longer up to the task. But that hasn’t stopped him from being exceptionally active. Now nearly 74, this is his exercise regimen: Swimming twice a week Weight training three times a week


(Continued on page 66) MAY 2018 | NEWSMAX MAXLIFE 65


ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF BOB FORD


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92