While his presidency was undeniably short, Gerald Ford left his imprint on what a good man could do to the office. Instead of allowing the continued infighting and political battles to go on, Ford did the right thing to allow the country to move on and pardoned Richard Nixon. As proven in the 76 election, this was political suicide, but it was still the right thing to do.
Ford was known for his principled stands on a lot of things, even if they weren't necessarily the most popular positions. That of course made him a great choice for president in 76 and had I been old enough to vote, I would have voted for him then. While we can't say for sure that the country would not have still gone through the massive economic crisis inpired by Jimmy Carter, (who am I kidding of course we can!) we do know that we would have had a man of principle who would not have been running around the world disrespecting America for the next 30 years and befriending any dictator who would have him.
As a Naval officer in WWII, he served in the Pacific fights, on the USS Monterrey, a light aircraft carrier that helped secure the Gilbert Islands, Makin Islands, and was part of the Phillippine assault. During a typhoon, the ship was damaged and Ford was nearly swept overboard. It was sent back to Washington for repairs and his service in the war was over.
While I've not agreed with President Ford over the past several years, moderating in his age, I respect his opinions and his desire to see the country move forward.
Semper Fi sailor, fair seas and following winds. RIP