DINWIDDIE, Va. (WRIC) – The Dinwiddie High School Football team honored Sgt. Matt Bradford during its game against Petersburg Friday night. Bradford is a graduate of Dinwiddie High School and served his country in Iraq, where he was injured by an IED in 2007. As a result of his injuries, Sgt. Bradford lost both legs and a portion of his right hand as well as his eyesight.
Sgt. Bradford grew up in Winchester, Kentucky but moved to Dinwiddie in 2002. He graduated high school in 2005 and enlisted into the United States Marine Corps. After recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina and School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, North Carolina, he was assigned to 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines Echo Company 2nd Platoon in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
Deploying in September 2006, his unit went to Haditha, Iraq. On January 18, 2007, Bradford was severely injured after stepping on a roadside bomb. This blast placed him in a heavily sedated coma for three weeks. During this time, his left leg above the knee and right leg below knee were amputated. Additionally, Bradford suffered a loss of vision and multiple injuries to his left forearm and right hand, as well as the removal of a piece of his small intestines.
As part of his recovery, he underwent several surgeries at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. He learned how to walk on two Prosthetic legs at the Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. He also participated in Blind Rehabilitation Training at Hines Veterans Affairs in Maywood, Illinois from July through December 2008.
On April 7, 2010, Bradford re-enlisted, becoming the first blind, double amputee in the history of the Marine Corps. He was then assigned to Wounded Warrior Battalion-East Camp Lejeune, NC from July 2010 through July 2012 until his retirement as a Corporal on August 1, 2012.
The Dinwiddie Football team has dedicated its 2016-2017 season to Sgt. Bradford and his Marine Corps unit, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines. Sgt. Bradford served as the honorary captain, walking out with the DHS captains for the coin flip before being recognized at halftime of the game.
He currently lives in Nicholasville, Kentucky with his wife Amanda, and their three children; stepson Nolan, 11, stepdaughter Emma, 9 and their 3-year-old daughter Layla. They were married on April 7, 2012, in Emerald Island, North Carolina. Bradford is a full-time student at the University of Kentucky pursuing a degree in Journalism/Broadcasting with a minor in History Degree with dreams of becoming a sports radio analyst.