Thinking Grand: Dick Devos & Gerald Ford Save America

The true leader makes grand plans to achieve his goals. He thinks about the larger community. Dick Devos has conquered Grand Rapids, now he is ready to conquer the world.


Grand Rapids Academy


Life is about conquering the obstacles that are before you. Dick Devos and his wife, Betsy started an academy at the Grand Rapids Gerald Ford International Airport to train future pilots. As a pilot himself, Dick Devos was able to see the “big picture.”


Gerald Ford Airport


So, who was President Gerald Ford and why was the airport named after him? Gerald Ford was an Eagle Scout, so he was always prepared. He played on two national championship football teams at the University of Michigan.


He was versatile playing center, linebacker and long snapper at Michigan. One of his coaches said “Ford and Sweet played their hearts out” during one loss. His teammates thought that Gerald Ford “was one guy who would stay and fight in a losing cause.”


On July 31, 1926 flights were flown from the Grand Rapids airport. This was the first regularly scheduled passenger airlines flight with Stout Air Services. Stout was eventually merged into United Air Lines.


Gerald Ford grew up in Grand Rapids. It was his home town. Would Dick Devos follow a similar political path as Gerald Ford to Washington D.C.? Would he be there when the nation was fighting “in a losing cause?” Those parallels would be very interesting, wouldn’t they?


Michigan Governor Race


Dick Devos ran for the Michigan Governor position on a platform supporting charter schools. He had already set one up at the Grand Rapids Gerald Ford Airport and wanted all children to have the opportunity to fly high.


Unfortunately, just as Gerald Ford did not win all of his games at the University of Michigan, Dick Devos did not win the governor’s race. What did he learn? Could President Donald Trump trust in Dick Devos like President Richard Nixon trusted in Gerald Ford? Is there something in the Grand Rapids water that can save nations?


Federal Aviation Administration


Now, Dick Devos has flown from Grand Rapids to Washington DC, just like Gerald Ford. He understands that he can only accomplish so much in the local area. He has helped the local airport attract Southwest Airlines. Now, his nation needs him.


When did America stop being great? When did Nixon start worrying about impeachment? The country seems to be at another critical juncture. Will Michigan save the country again?


Now, Pilot Dick Devos has been called upon to join the civilian panel overseeing the FAA. Is aviation, the secret to whether America will become great again? How will America’s airports be revamped?


Just as Ford thought Grand ideas and lived a Grand life, Dick Devos seems to be doing the same. He is also not afraid to keep fighting while others think the cause is lost. Will Dick Devos save America?


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