In December 2005, Tech Sergeant Israel Del Toro was en route to ambush Afghan insurgents when his Humvee rolled over a roadside bomb. He was burned over 80 percent of his body, nearly died three times while undergoing medical treatment, and was given only a 50 percent chance of survival. Doctors also never expected him to walk again or be able to breathe on his own.
Against all odds, Del Toro left the hospital in three months and managed to reenlist in the Air Force, the first 100 percent combat disabled Air Force technician to do so.
Del Toro’s boot showcases his phoenix tattoo design, his call name, “Gunslinger,” along with his personal motto. The panel opposite the phoenix design features photos of his decimated Humvee.
Chuck Anderson is an artist and designer from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Since starting his studio in 2003, Anderson has done work for such companies as Microsoft, UnderArmour, Nike, and ESPN.