WAYNE, NE, USA U.S. Army SGT, 189TH TRANSPORTATION CO, 485TH CORPS SUPPORT BN,(3 CC) WIESBADEN, GM NUMANIYAH, IRAQ 07/31/2006
Lonnie Ford had a feeling that his soldier son wouldn’t be coming home.
He spoke with his son from Iraq after Joshua had been home on leave.
I went in to my wife (Joshua’s stepmother) and said, ‘He’s not ever going to come home,’ Ford said. I honestly had a feeling.”
The Ford family joined the soldier’s father clasping hands amid photos of Joshua. Also on display were art projects Joshua had completed during his school years. Mr. Ford was proud that Joshua had served his country, although surprised that his son wanted to join the military. Joshua was so enthusiastic about the National Guard that he enlisted while still in Pender High School and persuaded three friends to join with him.
His son was interested in art, computers and movies, Lonnie Ford said. He was a very caring individual who loved life, Lonnie Ford said. It is now the time to grieve, but I know in my heart Josh would want us to live life to the fullest.
He liked driving large convoy trucks for his transportation company, the elder Ford said. His company T-shirts carried the slogan, Drive It Like You Stole It, Ford said. Ford knew what life means. He left an audio will for his friends. They listened to it at some point and he told them to just celebrate his life.
Joshua is survived by his fiancée, Michelle Frohlich of Pender; three sisters, Erin, Jessica and Shawn; grandmother, Ella Petersen of North Bend; and a nephew, William Dyer, also survive Ford.
About 100 members of the Patriot Guard Riders attended Ford’s funeral and shielded the family from protesters besides demonstrating an amazing respect for the fallen hero and his family. Motorcyclists from Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota and Missouri were part of the Patriot Guard group. When they rode into town, American flags billowed on the backs of their motorcycles. As the motorcycle riders turned the corner near the church, onlookers waved their own American flags.