Video: Ford Replaces Veteran’s Totalled Raptor, Bill Ford Makes Surprise Visit

Feb 14, 2024

Bill Ford made a surprise visit to the Dearborn Truck Plant (DTP) this week to honor a veteran who suffered unimaginable loss and grievous injury while serving our country in Afghanistan in 2021. 

U.S. Marine Tyler Vargas-Andrews was helping evacuate people from the Kabul airport when a suicide bomb went off. The blast killed more than 170 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members, two of whom were Vargas-Andrews’ closest friends. He was critically injured in the explosion when more than 150 ball bearings shredded his body. He lost his right arm and his left leg and sustained internal injuries too numerous to list. To date, he has undergone 45 surgeries.  

After recovering enough to leave the hospital and restart his life after giving so much to his country and others, Vargas-Andrews gave something to himself – an F-150 Raptor he purchased off a dealer lot.

Ever since he was a teenager, Vargas-Andrews had wanted a Ford F-150 Raptor, and in June of 2023, he made that dream come true. But it was short-lived. Five months after he took delivery of his 2023 Code Orange F-150 Raptor, he was hit by a distracted driver going 75 mph on the highway. Luckily – and largely due to the Raptor’s safety features, says Vargas-Andrews – Vargas-Andrews and his girlfriend escaped the crash with minor injuries. But his cherished Raptor was totaled. 

To help give back to Vargas-Andrews, who sacrificed so much for his country like so many of our veterans, Ford replaced his Raptor with a new 2024 F-150 Raptor R. This time, he ordered it in the Carbonized Gray color. The vehicle was built this week at the DTP. In addition to the surprise visit by Bill Ford, Vargas-Andrews and his friend Jake Simmons, also a wounded veteran, had an opportunity to tour the plant, meet with DTP veteran employees and see firsthand how F-150 trucks are built.