Tonight is the State of the Union and, for Kentuckians, a familiar face will be in the crowd. Corporal Matthew Bradford is one of 15 guests invited to the event by President Trump and First Lady Melania. He will be sitting in the first lady’s private box for tonight’s speech, which begins at 9 p.m.
“For me to be recognized by the President of the United States for going out and living life to the fullest, because it’s really what I try to urge other people to do is to go out and do things that they never thought they would do,” Bradford said.
By now you should be familiar with Bradford’s story. The former Marine lost his vision and both of his legs after stepping on a roadside bomb in Iraq back in 2007. After undergoing multiple surgeries and therapy, he reenlisted in the Marine Corps in 2010, the first blind double amputee to do so.
Last May, Bradford graduated from UK with two degrees and now works in Congressman Andy Barr’s office as the National Security Fellow, where he focuses on outreach to veterans. He also leads the Sixth District Veterans Coalition, competes in several wounded warrior athletic competitions, and is a close friend of UK Athletics, specifically Mark Stoops. If anyone in this world deserves to be honored tonight, it’s him.