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‘God bless those soldiers:’ Ky. veteran opens up about bombing in Kabul

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 9:44 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A former marine who was injured in battle is opening up about Thursday’s bombing.

“You start hearing the stories, the four Marines was the first one I heard then I get home and it’s up to 11 marines and a corpsman,” Matthew Bradford said.

The details are hard to hear, but for Bradford, it’s a little more personal.

“Hearing those reports and hearing those marines, and the number going up, it saddens me so much,” Bradford said.

He served in the Marines in 2006 until he was severely injured by an improvised explosive device that blinded him and made him lose both of his legs. But he’ll tell you, the Marine Corps bond never goes away.

“We’re all family,” Bradford said. “It doesn’t matter when you served, where you served.”

He’s listened to heartbreaking details of Thursday’s attack in Kabul. He doesn’t know names of the victims, but it doesn’t matter.

“You don’t want something like this to happen, but those Marines, they’re willing to do anything it takes to protect those Afghans, protect those Americans and get them out of Afghanistan safely…” Bradford said. “It makes me want to get on my uniform and go overseas and fight.”

He says he’s talked to other Marines as they process the attacks, relying on each other as they mourn their brothers.

“The Marine Corp is such a small world. I have friends who were drill instructors who could have been their drill instructors, I could have crossed paths with these Marines,” Bradford said.

Paths that no matter what, will always be connected to those Marines, and their families, suffering a devastating loss.

“When you tuck your kids in tonight or you go to sleep, just say a prayer. Say a prayer for those 12 Marines and their families who are grieving tonight,” Bradford said.

Following a proclamation from the White House to honor the Marines killed, Governor Andy Beshear has ordered flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff until sunset Monday.

“God bless the Marines, and God bless those soldiers,” Bradford said.

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