Our View: Marine’s courage is example for us all

Published 9:11 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Winchester native Matthew Bradford is a true American hero, not only because of the immeasurable sacrifices he made for his country but how he responded to those.

The Marine’s motto of “no legs, no vision, no problem” is one most of would struggle to embrace if faced with the same challenges.

Because the shining example he has set with his life, Bradford was one of President Donald Trump’s special guests at the State of the Union address Tuesday night.

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That is a path almost no one could have predicted a little more than a decade ago. Well, no one but Bradford maybe.

The George Rogers Clark graduate joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2004. Three years later, on Jan. 18, 2007, his life changed forever when an IED literally exploded beneath his feet while on patrol in Iraq.

“The blast took his left leg above the knee and severely damaged his right, which was later amputated. Shrapnel from the explosion blinded him. He had broken bones in his hand and damage to his abdomen led to the removal of a piece of his small intestine. His bladder ruptured and his stomach was bruised,” according to a recent Kentucky Today report.

Bradford’s long road to recovery began two months later when he left the hospital to start physical and occupational therapy. He was determined to walk again first before overcoming his vision loss. Five months after the explosion, Bradford stood on his prosthetic legs for the first time. By December 2008, he was independently mobile, could read braille and operate a computer.

Two years after that, in 2010, Bradford became the first blind, double amputee in the history of the Marines to re-enlist.   Having once fought for our freedoms, his new mission was to help other wounded soldiers deal with the challenges they faced.

Today, Bradford works in the district office of 6th District Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, to focuses on outreach to veterans and leads the 6th District Veterans Coalition.  

His patriotism and courage serve as an example for all and many of us would fail to face adversity the way Bradford has done.

All of Winchester should be proud because his heart and character were forged here in Clark County.