In 2013, after their teammates Mike Duskin and Riley Stephens were killed in action in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, active duty Green Berets Chad and Dan struggled with the best way to honor the memory and support the families of their fallen brothers. What started as a plan to buy a keg, grill hamburgers and hotdogs and tell stories about Duskin and Stephens to their families, bolstered into a highly organized event, attended by over 1,000 people and raising more than $84,000. In just two years, Chad and Dan have grown one event into the Duskin and Stephens Foundation, a non-profit organization with multiple annual events that support the families of fallen members of Special Operations Forces and the educational needs of children of Special Operations Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. Through its events, the Duskin and Stephens Foundation also aims to aid in the emotional healing process of Wounded Warriors and the families of fallen heroes and foster relations between the military and civilian communities.
John Wayne Walding spent 12 years in the U. S. Army with seven of those years being in 3rd Special Forces Group, the same as Chad and Dan. He was also close friends with Riley Stephens. In 2008, during the battle of Shok Valley, Walding was shot in his right leg resulting in a below the knee amputation. Post injury, he attended Special Forces Sniper School and upon graduation became the first amputee to ever become a Green Beret sniper. But, after his amputation, Walding struggled with the direction of his future. He focused his efforts on something he loved, guns. Walding learned the art of handcrafting rifles. He settled with his family in Dallas and engrossed himself in making the most precise rifles on the market. Eventually, he founded 5 Toes Custom, with the premise that he would not only support his family by doing something that he loved and building a high quality product that he believed in; but also help combat-wounded veterans find their new normal and give back to military focused charities.
A member of the Board of Directors of the Duskin and Stephens Foundation also lives in Dallas and stumbled upon 5 Toes Custom. Realizing that Walding was friends with Mike Riley and knew Chad and Dan, he wanted to figure out a way they could all work together to benefit their respective charities. Together, they came up with a plan to build a custom gun for the Duskin and Stephens Foundation. It was decided between the four men that they would take the rifle to various locations throughout the country. This would allow them to interact with local communities across the nation, showcasing the craftsmanship of 5 Toes Custom and sharing the legacy of Mike Duskin, Riley Stephens and other fallen heroes.
The .308 Bolt Action Rifle with a carbon fiber barrel and Leupold Mark 8 scope debuted at this year’s Duskin and Stephens Foundation Beef and Beer Fundraiser in Pinehurst, NC on May 21st. It will now travel the country, making stops in various cities and towns, throughout the summer and early fall. You can enter the drawing by making a minimum donation of $50 to the Duskin and Stephens Foundation (see official rules for free method of entry). The grand prize includes the 5 Toes Custom Rifle, case, a custom rifle rack, roundtrip airfare to Dallas, TX, hotel accommodations and a private shooting lesson with John Wayne Walding.
CLICK HERE to be a part of this remarkable foundation! Buy a ticket today!