LAS VEGAS - One of the unique vehicles for last week’s SEMA show was a 2013 black Ford Raptor SuperCrew designed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Navy SEALs.
The vehicle, airbrushed by artist Mickey Harris, is covered with images that chronicle the Navy SEALs in combat dating back to World War 2.
“If you start from the driver’s front fender and walk counterclockwise around the truck you’ll see a historic timeline from World War 2 through the Korean War in the 50s, the Vietnam War in the 60s and early 70s to Panama, Grenada, Desert Storm, the Iraqi War and the Afghanistan conflict,” said Randy Hayes, president and founder of America’s Fallen Heroes, an organization dedicated to assisting critically injured veterans and their families with their long-term needs, and the group responsible for the Navy SEALs Raptor project.
“The images are real. They’re not made up,” said Hayes. “We pulled out actual pictures from the archives and the faces depicted on the vehicle are real Navy SEALs from the past.”
The Navy SEALs Raptor is part of a nationwide program called “Operation Raptor,” which was designed to raise awareness for critically injured veterans and their families.
“It is the first in a series of eight specially-themed Ford Raptor trucks that will salute the dedication, discipline, service and sacrifice of America’s Special Forces Teams,” said Hayes.
Now that the SEMA show is over, the Navy SEALs Raptor will tour the country, making stops at major sporting events, military bases, air shows and community events, according to Hayes.
Hayes says the Ford Raptor was chosen for the project because it is a vehicle that veterans associate with strength.
“If you ask the Special Forces guys – whether it’s the Green Berets, the Navy SEALs or the Air Force Commandos – what pickup truck they associate most with being a Special Forces truck, hands down their answer is the Ford Raptor,” he said. “They say you could parachute a Ford Raptor out of the back of a transport plane, land it in the middle of a combat zone and then take off and drive it and it would survive the battlefield.”