NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - It was a special moment Thursday as a central Kentucky veteran severely injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq broke ground a new home.
“It’s a new beginning for our family, a new chapter,” said Marine Cpl Matthew Bradford after turning over the first bit of dirt at the site of what will be his new home in Jessamine County.
It’s a place he didn’t expect to be six years ago when an IED left him blind and without both of his legs.
The non-profit organization Helping a Hero is honoring Bradford with a brand new house. Helping a Hero works with community partners to build specially-equipped homes for wounded veterans so they can be more self-sufficient.
“This home will have voice-activated controls, everything designed around someone who has sustained these kinds of injuries,” says Kelley Paul, wife of Senator Rand Paul. She serves on the Helping a Hero advisory board.
Despite his injuries, Bradford re-enlisted in the military and made another trip to Iraq. He's now retired and a student at Bluegrass Community & Technical College.
“Attitude is everything. You know when I first got hurt I hated life and I wanted to die, but it was just something in me. I was 20 years old and had a long life ahead of me. The last six years have been the most amazing years of my life.”
Helping a Hero also has a home under construction for a veteran in Bowling Green and is planning a fundraiser later this year for a soldier in Louisville.