Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Offering His Kidney an Easy Decision for Marine; by Joe Daraskevich

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Offering His Kidney an Easy Decision for Marine; by Joe Daraskevich

Article excerpt

Byline: jdaraskevich@jacksonville.com

Marine Sgt. Bryan Weber is on his way to a full recovery. So is former Staff Sgt. Dave Ford.

Their wounds aren't from the battlefield. They're from a Feb. 9 procedure that was a no-brainer for Weber and a miracle to Ford.

The former Marine needed a kidney. The active Marine was a perfect match.

Ford, 53, didn't even know Weber's first name when he found out the 27-year-old was going through testing to determine if he was eligible to offer an organ. Now they are lifelong friends that share even more than Marine Corps.

"It didn't take too much thinking," Weber said of donating his kidney. "I did what I could, and I went for it."

Both men work at the Blount Island Command in Jacksonville. Ford is a civilian employee who has worked in several positions since 1994. Right now he's a quality assurance specialist for the supply and container management branch. Weber is an Afghanistan veteran who is now the fiscal chief at Blount Island. He helps with the management of almost $145 million a year in financial resources.

The overall mission at Blount Island involves the Maritime Pre-positioning Force, which helps keep the Marine Corps ready for war.

The program enables rapid deployment and engagement of Marines anywhere in the world. The Jacksonville installation serves as a pit stop for ships to drop off and pick up supplies. Ships leave areas of operation to offload equipment at Blount Island, then supplies are loaded on board so the ships can return for training or deployment.

"Basically we make sure Marines have gear," Weber said.

Weber and Ford said they got along fine whenever their paths crossed in the office. It was a casual relationship between co-workers where they discussed sports and talked a little trash.

Most people in the office knew Ford was on dialysis, but he said he wasn't very vocal about all the things he was considering to find a donor. …

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