An Unlikely Candidate Reenlists

Marine Cpl. Matthew Bradford has chosen to reenlist in the armed forces for a second time.  However, what’s unique about his situation is that he will be the first blind, double amputee to reenlist in the Marines.

On January 18, 2007, Bradford was part of a team that was clearing roadside bombs when one exploded right underneath him.  The blast took his legs instantly and left him blind and with injuries to his wrist and lower abdomen.  He was very lucky to have survived.

Bradford was sent to the newly dedicated Intrepid Center for rehabilitation and dove right in.  The first series of exercises were designed to strengthen his core muscles, then they graduated to more rigorous routines.  When President Bush was touring the facility, he pointed out Bradford ascending the indoor rock climbing wall saying, “Good man, isn’t he?”

Bradford continues to inspire those around him.  He recently took part in the Marine Corps Marathon on his hand cycle as directions were called out to him.  Last year, he participated in the Bataan Memorial Death March, an exhausting 10 mile hike through the deserts of New Mexico.

Now that Bradford is enlisted again, he hopes to devote his time to other injured service men and women in order to help them recover and bounce back as quickly as possible.  “I’m ready to get back to work,” he said eagerly.

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