From July 1967 to July 1968, Bob Ford flew over one thousand missions in Vietnam. After the first six weeks, he became an aircraft commander and took over the command of a helicopter detachment at Hue, forty miles from the DMZthe farthest northern helicopter unit in Vietnam. His tour included the beginning of the siege of Khe Sahn and the Tet Offensive in February 1968 when he and his men manned the perimeter for a three-day and three-night ground attack. Ford made his commitment to flying helicopters when he was still in college at the University of Oklahoma. He completed ROTC training and received a commission in the US Army in 1966. He volunteered for army helicopter flight school and within one year was flying combat in Vietnam. When he completed his tour in Vietnam, he became an instructor pilot at Fort Wolters, Texas. Following his discharge in 1969, he moved to Okeene, Oklahoma, to head the Okeene division of the family flour milling business, which he still actively manages.