67. Veterans Day

Octo-woman is always a day late and a dollar short.  That’s why she is celebrating Veterans Day today — while the rest of the country was observing it yesterday.

The truth is, I thought it was going to be on Saturday when I would have plenty of time to do this correctly. Instead, I’m going to do it today and hurriedly. Please help me correct errors via the Comment section, or email.

I could use some help. I want to compile all the names and photos of the people in our extended family who served in the military.  Even more spectacular would be if we could learn their rank, duties, dates and location of service!  Trust me, from what I’ve barely glimmered, the narrative would be fascinating. Ken Burns, eatcherheartout.

Hint to all the students in the family: what a great subject for a killer-knock-their-socks-off term paper.  It’d be an easy A+.  And we would all be able to learn more and add to the lore of the amazing characters you are related to.  If you’re interested, holler and I’ll send you the email addresses of the people listed below.  You could get some great interviews!

So back to Veterans Day.  The reason I should have remembered that it was yesterday – November 11th – is because it was intended to mark the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 when the armistice for World War I went into effect — “the war to end all wars”.

My brother-in-law Don Ford told me today that Veterans Day was intended to honor American military people who are still living; Memorial Day is to honor those who died.

Now I guess we are ready to begin our list of family veterans.  To make additions of those I left out, or to make corrections, please use “Comments” on this blob, or email me at ford@fordvideo.com.  And please let me know if you know of any photos I can use.  Especially good would be those of the person in uniform, or, at least the approximate age they were when they served.

These are the names compiled so far — along with whatever photos I could find. Right now I’ll list them by family, but later, in chronological order.


Donald Francis Ford (my brother-in-law):        U. S. Air Force, lifetime career, engaged in Battle of the Bulge in World War II, earned a Ph.D. during service, trained in Latin American development, reached rank of full Colonel before retirement.

Robert Edward Ford (my brother-in-law): U.S. Navy, radio operator, spent World War II  on ships in the Pacific.

Gene Alan Ford (my husband): U.S. Navy Air Force; control tower operator at Alameda immediately following World War II.

Daniel Lee Ford (my nephew): 20 year career in U.S. Air Force.  After he retired, went back to school for more degrees in nuclear science and has worked since for Hanford.

Leslie Ann Ford (my niece): Army lieutenant during Desert Shield/Desert Storm.  I think she procured and dispatched medical supplies during that war. Now works as civilian Public Information officer for army recruiting in Columbus, South Carolina.

Henry Sully (Leslie’s husband): Lifetime career in U.S. Army.  While in Reserves, was called up to serve as medical logistics officer in Iraqi war.


Leo Gorman (my uncle): U.S. Navy following World War I

James Michael Gorman (my dad): U.S. Coast Guard; Merchant Marine; following World War I.

James Donald Gorman (my brother): U.S. Army served in Korea at the ending period of the War.

Richard John Gorman (my brother): U.S. Army, following the Korean War.  Enlisted in 1957 for 3 years. He was a Specialist 4 “Machine Accounting Specialist”. After he left the army, he went to work at the Pentagon as a computer programmer, and later as a G-5 computer programmer/analyst for the Federal Reserve.


No photos or data yet but I’m working on it.  (My sister Joan — HELP!)

Leo Fitzpatrick:  U.S. Army
Ed Fitzpatrick: U.S. Army
Helen Fitzpatrick: U.S. Navy
Irv Fitzpatrick: U.S. Army
Mike Fitzpatrick (Ed’s son): U.S. Army
Bonnie Fitzpatrick (Ed’s daughter-in-law): U.S. Army
Jim Fitzpatrick (Leo’s son): U.S. Army during Korean War
Donie Fitzpatrick: U.S. Marines following Korean War
Jim Fitzpatrick: (bother-in-law Tom’s half-brother: U.S. Marines


Arlan Longfield:  U.S. Army

Helen Longfield (Arlan’s wife): U.S. Army

Edmund Longfield: U.S. Navy


Russell “Sonny” Merrifield


Donald Covey (Bryce’s grandfather and “my brother-in-law-once-removed”):  U.S. Marines, I think he fought in the 17 day battle at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea.  Son Matthew told me it’s believed to be the most brutal battle ever fought in U.S. military history.  No photo of his time in service but here’s a current one.


Bob Opsvig (father of my son-in-law Eric): U.S. Marines for 3 years before Korean War.
John Opsvig:  Killed in an aircraft over China during World War II.
Ted Lund: U.S. Navy, during World War II.

So that’s the list so far.  With your help, I hope we can add lots of information to each of the names listed above.

We’re exceedingly proud of all of those above who have contributed so much to our country and we are grateful for all they’ve done. 

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One Response to 67. Veterans Day

  1. Gretchen Covey says:

    Mom. thank you for putting together pictures and lists of our family Veterans. Thank you whole-heartedly to each Veteran. I am grateful for your service and selflessness. Peace and grace to each one of you.

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