American Heroes

Published in the June 2008 Issue June 2008 Spotlight

In the last issue of Diesel Tech we mentioned that we were looking for pictures and info on some of our readers' trucks.

We want to know a little bit about our readers' rigs and what they are used for. You send us the pictures and we'll put them in the magazine. Just after the issue went out we were overloaded with emails of what we're calling 'Reality Trucks.' As we were going through these emails, this truck in particular struck us and it was decided there needed to be a little more than just a small paragraph and picture included on this truck and what it was about.

Steven Walker of Corvallis, OR, is one of thousands of Americans who have lost loved ones in the Iraq War. Walker lost a brother, Ryan, an Army medic in January 2006. Already a recipient of the Purple Heart, Ryan was on his last tour in Iraq and while he was administering care to a wounded soldier, an IED went off near them, killing him just six days before he was to be shipped home. In honor of his brother, Steven wanted to build a truck dedicated to Ryan, also a fireman, to help us all remember just what the young men and women of our Armed Forces do for us.

Venice Airbrush of Eugene, OR, painted the masterpiece on the truck with help from the Good vs. Evil Studio. One side of the truck honors firefighters with true flames and portraits of firemen in action. The other side of the truck is dedicated to the military medics, with a Blackhawk medivac chopper landing to carry out wounded soldiers. The fallen soldier memorial was also airbrushed in, to further honor those lost in battle. The tailgate was dedicated to his brother, where the American flag flies behind a portrait of Ryan in his firefighter uniform.

Billet Badges made the side badges with a gold star engraved in them to honor those families who have lost a soldier in war. The original Powerstroke badge was engraved with Ryan's name and the date he was killed in action. The F350 badges have the 3rd infantry division logo and their slogan "Rock of the Marne."_

As for performance modifications, the truck is powered by a 7.3L Powerstroke with more than 110,000 miles on it. Horsepower is supplied with a set of Diesel Innovations Mini Me injectors, a GTP-38R turbo, AFE stage II intake, 4-inch exhaust, and a BTS multi-position chip, which is all planted to the ground through a BTS transmission. A 6.0L transmission cooler keeps tranny temps cool, while a Coolingmist Stage II water injection system is used to keep egts in check. There is also a regulated fuel return system, head studs, Turbo-Master waste gate controller, Superlift Truspeed, Isspro Gauges, ORU differential covers and a 40-gallon transfer tank.

Cosmetically, Walker updated the truck with an '05 Superduty front-end and mirrors, Excursion door handles, Keystone heat extractor hood, OEM fender flares and Hella 500 lights behind the grille. The truck sits on a 6-inch Tuff Country lift and 22-inch MKW M-19s, rolling on 37-inch Toyo M/Ts.

Walker said, "Ryan was a super guy and never had an enemy in the world and always wanted to make sure his soldiers were taken care of. Unfortunately he'll never have a chance to fix up a truck of his own, so I am doing this one for him. He paid the ultimate price."_

Walker wants people to know a little about his brother and to remember that there is still a war going on and he hopes that we never forget these individuals that never come home. We should also mention a website Walker asked us to include, dedicated to those soldiers who don't make it home: www.iraqwarheroes.org. The page dedicated to Walker's brother can be found at www.iraqwarheroes.org/walkerr.htm.

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