Some people know what they want to do in life by the time they reach high school. One such individual is Jason Ford. As a senior at Glenvar High School, he was regularly asked what was he going to do after graduation. “I’ve always wanted to join the military since I was a little kid so that would be my response,” he said.
Kenny Ford, Jason’s father, was a local police officer for 31 years. His mother, Susan Ford, has worked at Wells Fargo for nearly three decades. “My parents have always supported me. I played football for four years and wrestled for two years at Glenvar, and they were always there,” he said.
Jason chose the Army over the other military branches mainly because that’s where several of his family members served. “My grandfather and two uncles were in the Army, and they always talked about their experiences and how much it helped them later in life,” he said. “The Army also had a job that interested me, and that was a huge plus.”
Jason is a 19 Delta Calvary Scout with the Virginia Army National Guard, a position that is responsible for being the eyes and ears of the commander. “The Army has taught me so many things. Most importantly, how selfless sacrifice can make a difference in the world,” he said.
Jason comes from a family of military veterans. “In addition to my two uncles and grandfather serving in the Army, I also have two cousins that are in the Marines,” he said. “From September of 2015 to July of 2016, I was deployed to Qatar for Operation Enduring Freedom Spartan Shield. Once a month I go to Virginia Beach for drills.”
October 2017 is a month that Jason Ford will never forget. He, along with several other reserve guards, went to Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands for two weeks to hand out relief supplies to locals affected by Hurricane Irma.
About 12 inches of rain fell on Saint Thomas causing widespread structural damage. Saint John, the smallest of the three main US Virgin Islands with under 4,500 residents, was also devastated by the hurricane. “It was an eye-opening experience,” he said. “Being up that close put a lot of things in perspective.”
The Virgin Islands wasn’t the first time that Jason traveled somewhere to help those in need. “My dad, my brother and I went to Houston in September for a week. We took down supplies that we collected from Glenvar High School, several churches and an elementary school in Radford, Virginia,” he said.
A typical day for Jason consists of working with his brother and dad on their family construction business. “It’s called K&J Properties, and it has been around for about 20 years. We specialize in plumbing and electric, but also have commercial and residential building licenses.”
Jason’s ultimate goal is to eventually take over the family business. He feels that the skills he’s learning in the Army will help him accomplish that. “I feel like when that time comes, I will be more than ready because of everything that I’ve learned over the years,” he said.