Sgt (Ret.) Matt Bradford, USMC
Matt lived in Kentucky until his sophomore year when his family moved to Virginia. He played football, basketball, and tennis in high school. He was also a member of the Future Farmers of America.
He joined the Marine Corps straight out of high school in September 2005. He went to boot camp at Paris Island and graduated from there in December 2005. He went to the school of infantry at Camp Geiger and once he graduated, he was stationed with the 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines out of Kaneohoe Bay, Hawaii. He deployed to Haditha, Iraq in September 2006. He was injured January 18, 2007 when he stepped on an IED. Shrapnel immediately entered both of his eyes blinding him. His left leg was immediately blown off and his right was amputated later at the hospital, he also has limited use of his right hand due to breaking of the bones from the blast.
He was medically evacuated to Bethesda where he underwent multiple surgeries for his eyes and legs. He went to Brooke Army Medical Center and did his therapy at the Center for the Intrepid.
He reenlisted in the Marine Corps in April 2010 as the first blind double amputee. He was stationed at Wounded Warrior Battalion East until he retired in July 2012. He is now attending Bluegrass Technical Community College full time, working on a degree in Communications with a minor in history, with the goal of transferring to the University of Kentucky.
He met his wife Amanda, in June 2010 when he moved to Camp Lejune to work at the Wounded Warrior Battalion East and a year later proposed. They have one child together as well as two children from a previous marriage. Amanda is Matt’s primary caretaker and supports both him and their children.