U.S. Marine Becomes First Blind Double Amputee to Re-Enlist
He has no legs and no eyesight, but Marine Cpl. Matthew Bradford has four more years of military service ahead of him after becoming the first blind double-amputee to re-enlist.
The rifleman was injured in January 2007 in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded right under him, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
But after years at the Center for the Intrepid, a privately funded, cutting-edge rehabilitation center, Bradford, 23, has learned to walk with prosthetic limbs and navigate without his vision, and he only regrets that he can’t return to combat duty in Iraq, the paper reported.
Instead the Kentucky native will head to Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he will work with other wounded Marines in hopes of helping them cope with anger, depression and other issues.
"I'm paving the road for the rest of them who want to stay in but think they can't," he told the Express-News. "I'm ready to get back to work."
Marine is first blind double amputee to re-enlist
After all he's been through, the only real regret Marine Cpl. Matthew Bradford says he has now is not being able to return to combat duty in Iraq.
But Wednesday, Bradford, 23, made Marine Corps history, becoming the first blind double amputee to re-enlist. In keeping with service tradition, Bradford was honorably discharged and allowed to say a few words as a civilian before re-enlisting.
“Sign me up, sir!” he told Lt. Col. David Barnes, who administered the oath of enlistment, extending Bradford's military career by another four years.
True hero. And proud to have him protecting me and our nation.