Recovery in his sights: SF Soldier becomes first amputee to graduate SWCS sniper course
By Caroline Goins
USAJFKSWCS Public Affairs Office
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, July 23, 2010) – John Wayne has toured Afghanistan and Iraq, hunted grizzly bears in Alaska and earned the Silver Star; and as of July 16, John Wayne is the first one-legged Soldier to graduate the Special Forces Sniper Course.
Staff Sgt. John Wayne Walding of Groesbeck, Texas, that is.
In April 2008, Walding and nine other Special Forces Soldiers from a 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) assault team were attacked by the Hezeb Islami al Gulbadin while searching for insurgents in Afghanistan’s Shok Valley.
Walding, one of several team members who were injured, took a bullet through his right leg under his knee.
“I ripped off my boot lace and literally tied my leg to my thigh to keep it from flapping around,” Walding said.