PORTLAND, Ore. – A local soldier from Vancouver is returning for his second tour of duty in Iraq, remarkable because he’s an amputee.
A roadside bomb tore apart Sgt. Matt Braddock’s Humvee outside of Kirkuk five years ago, and he lost part of his left leg.
Braddock was among 500 soldiers mobilized Tuesday for Operation New Dawn in Iraq, and he is one of only a few soldiers in America to return – combat ready – as an amputee.
Braddock learned how to walk and run again at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He worked tirelessly to pass physical tests, and he appeared before military medical boards to convince them he could go back without being a liability to his fellow soldiers.
“He’s probably had to prove it at a level that a soldier without handicaps would never have to meet, which is, I think, reasonable,” said Braddock’s mother, Rhetta Drennan.
“I’ve been waiting for the last five years for this. I’ve been working at it,” said Braddock by phone from Camp Shelby in Mississippi.
Braddock admitted he’s quite a sight.
“I’m bringing three renegade prosthetic legs, and I’ve got them strapped to the top of my rucksack. I have two rucksacks that I’ve got them strapped to the top of.”
It was a journey of remarkable courage for Braddock who never gave up the fight.
Source: Anna Canzano for KTAU.
PORTLAND, Ore. - A local soldier from Vancouver is returning for his second tour…
by Tactical-Life.com / Sep 23, 2010