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2011 Ford F-250 – You Are What You Drive

John Wayne Walding's F-250 “Super Duty” is a Vehicular Metaphor for His Life's Mantra

Photos by: Q Concepts

In RECOIL Issue 19, we profiled John Wayne Walding, a decorated Green Beret nearly killed in the Battle of Shok Valley who also became the first amputee to complete Special Forces sniper school. While his commitment to his country and the Army speaks for itself, honoring an individual like Walding with a vehicle to commemorate his service and approach to life is no easy feat. First, you need the right concept. Second, you need the right materials. And last but not least, you need the right builders to combine all these elements into something practical, personal, and robust enough to make other Special Forces operators say, “Hey, I'd drive that.”

Mark Hanson, CEO of Road Armor, first began conceptualizing a truck along those lines with his friend, the legendary SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. The reason being, when special operation forces (SOF) personnel retire after getting to use some of the most sophisticated technology on the planet, buying an off-the-lot car or truck isn't exactly a lateral move. Since so many in the SOF community continue work in a similar arena after their military service, it only makes sense that their means of transportation speaks to that lifestyle. Initially, Kyle's Ford longbed F-350 was to serve as the platform for this brainchild…then the unimaginable happened.

Kyle's sudden death put the brakes on the project, but Hanson didn't give up hope. Walding was also a friend of Kyle, had a similar truck that Hanson knew about, and felt he'd be someone Kyle would've wanted to see this project come to life with. It was only a matter of time before Walding and Hanson teamed up to turn his 2011 F-250 Super Duty into what he'd previously envisioned. “He carries stuff in his truck that's part of his daily life,” Hanson says. “Anything you'd need at the range can be put in that truck.”

Aesthetically the truck is pretty inconspicuous from afar, but that's pretty apropos for the quiet professional who drives it. The entire body has been coated in a Kevlar-based lining by Starwood Motors. It can spend a day at the range getting filthy and all it needs is a good pressure wash. No fading, no waxing necessary, and it's lifetime guaranteed. The Road Armor custom bumpers and fender flares were Kryptek coated, a pattern popular with operators. In the back you'll find an ARB air compressor and Gun Vault for Walding to store his gear. The DiamondBack truck cover keeps everything sealed up and is strong enough to support the weight of two quads.


The 6.7L diesel has been upgraded with a Spartan tuner, Airaid intake, AirDog fuel system, and exhales through a large-diameter Magnaflow exhaust. A 4-inch Pro Comp lift accommodates the large BMF Novakane wheels and Toyo meats. Up front you'll find a variety of Rigid Industries LED and IR lights as well as a Rigid custom grille and Warn 16.5ti winch.

Starwood Motors used Ferrari 458 leather on the seats, the headrests of which are embroidered with Walding's company logo on one side —5 Toes Custom — and the Green Beret insignia on the other. And since duty is nothing without honor, the center armrest has also been stitched with names of the fallen soldiers Walding served with. “These guys made an impact on John to live his life better,” Hanson says. “I owe it to the fallen to live well; to be a father, but a good father. To be a husband, but a good husband,” Walding says. A Gunner Fab pistol mount resides on the driver side door — carjackers, you've been warned.

Delivery of the finished product to Walding was carried out by Hanson and Chris Kyle's brother Jeff. The official send-off was caught on camera, and was an emotional affair on many levels. “It gave me some closure about Chris,” Hanson says. “We were about to start on Chris' truck when he was killed. We got to finish with someone who Chris knew and would have approved of. John was one of Chris' heroes.”

“To me it represents what the special operators stand for; everything worth doing is worth overdoing,” Walding says. “There were times in my life I've protected the American dream, but wasn't living it. I could never afford a truck like this and it's a way of receiving thanks. You never realize how much it means when people say thanks to a veteran.”

2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty
6.7L Diesel V-8
6R140 automatic,,

1 Ballistic Armor
Make: Custom
Model: Levell IIIA

2 Roll Cage
Make: Custom
Model: 2-inch, 120-wall tubing

3 Combo Light
Make: Rigid Industries
Model: 10-inch E Series white/IR light prototype


4 Combo Light
Make: Rigid Industries
Model: R-46 LED light

5 Tires
Make: Pro Comp
Model: Xterrain 37x14x16

6 Wheels
Make: Eagle
Model: Aluminum 16×8

1 IR Lights
Make: Rigid Industries
Model: 4-inch IR LED Lights

2 Winch
Make: Warn
Model: 16.5ti

3 Bumper
Make: Road Armor
Model: Ford Super Duty Front Stealth Winch Bumper With Pre-Runner Guard

4 Lower Light Bar
Make: Rigid Industries
Model: 20-inch Single-Row LED Light


5 Grille
Make: Rigid Industries
Model: Super Duty LED Grille

6 Bumper lights
Make: Rigid Industries
Model: D-Series LED Lights

7 Tires
Make: Toyo
Model: Open Country 35×12.5xR20

8 Wheels
Make: BMF
Model: Novakane

9 Fender Flares
Make: Bushwacker
Model: Pocket-Style Fender Flare

10 Upholstery
Make: Ferrari
Model: 458 leather with custom stitching


1 Rifle
Make: 5 Toes Custom
Model: 5.56 16-inch with 1-8.5x34mm Bushnell Elite optic, AR Gold trigger

2 Rifle
Make: 5 Toes Custom
Model: 5TC .308 LRPR (long-range precision rifle) Remington 700 trued; Proof Research carbon-fiber barrel; Remington RACS chassis; Jewell trigger

3 Rifle
Make: 5 Toes Custom
Model: .308 Come and Take It; 5TC D.O.L. Action; Obermeyer barrel; Manners T6A stock; Jewell trigger

4 Rifle
Make: Daniel Defense
Model: M4 16-inch with Trijicon ACOG optic; Bravo Company OSS Bannar brake; AR Gold trigger

5 Rifle
Make: 5 Toes Custom
Model: .308 with 16-inch Proof Research carbon-fiber barrel; Bravo Company OSS Bannar brake; AR Gold trigger


6 Rifle
Make: 5 Toes Custom
Model: 5.56 16-inch with Vortex 1-6x optic, CMC trigger

7 Storage
Make: Truck Vault
Model: Custom

8 Pistol
Make: Kimber
Model: Custom 1911 Desert Warrior .45

9 Holster
Make: Gunner Fab
Model: Pistol Clamp Mount CO-CLMP

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