The first of the memorial services for former President Gerald Ford took place today at a church in Palm Desert, California.
This week’s death of the country’s 38th president was especially poignant for a Bowling Green Marine who met the man just over a month ago.
Twenty-two-year-old Marine, Lance Corp. Adam Kent Carson is in Military Occupation Specialty School at 23 Palms in California but he was back home in Bowling Green, Tues., Dec. 26, night when he heard the news that Gerald Ford had died.
“It was heartbreaking ... No idea ... We had met so recently ... Heartbreaking to see him go,” Carson said.
Carson’s encounter with the former president happened just over a month ago at Eisenhower Medical Center in California. Carson was flown there after having a seizure and soon learned there was a famous figure nearby.
“The nurse said Gerald Ford is across the hall for a checkup. She told me that, to comfort me saying the doctors must be good to treat Gerald Ford,” Carson said.
It wasn’t long before the nurse was asking Carson if President Ford could come in and speak to him.
“He came in and thanked me for my service ... said to get to feeling better. It really brightened my day and gave me hope because he didn’t have to say anything,” Carson said.
Carson said President Ford struck him as someone extremely charming and likeable and he was so nervous he doesn’t even remember what he said.
”I was probably stuttering ... Thank you ... All I could say,” Carson said.
Carson has had a couple of seizures since the one that landed him in the hospital with Ford. He said his doctors are still trying to determine what causes them but he said the meeting he had with the President is something he’ll never forget.
If you would like to pay your respects to the late president, you can do so right here in South Central Kentucky
At both locations of J.C. Kirby and Son Funeral Homes, there are memorial books for the public to sign in memory of President Ford.
Nearly 100 people have signed the books so far and next week they will be sent to the Gerald Ford Library in Michigan.