A Grovetown man was killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan on Thursday, according to the company he was employed with as a civilian contractor.
Michael Robert Bradford, 26, was one of four DynCorp International personnel killed in Kabul, a company statement said. Media reports said the bombing killed six Americans – including two U.S. service members – and at least nine Afghan civilians, including two children.
The company said Bradford joined DynCorp in November and was an Army veteran who had served in Iraq and other areas.
The Cincinnati Enquirer said Bradford was a native of Fort Thomas, Ky., and had been teaching law enforcement and security to police in Afghanistan since arriving there shortly after Thanksgiving. He was killed Thursday morning when a suicide car bomber rammed a two-vehicle NATO convoy in Kabul.
The bombing occurred during rush hour in the Afghan capital, according to NATO and Afghan government officials. A group called Hezb-i-Islami claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to media reports.
Bradford had planned to return to the U.S. on June 20 for his son’s birth, his father told the Enquirer.
“He was just smart as a whip. ... He was just a great kid growing up. He was fantastic in all the different sports,” Gary “Moose” Bradford, of Fort Thomas, told the newspaper Friday.
The Enquirer reported that Bradford’s wife, Sasha Bradford, is a little more than eight months pregnant and plans to name her baby Michael.
Sasha Bradford said in a statement released by DynCorp that they met in high school when she was a freshman and he a junior and were best friends before they fell in love. They were married in Washington state soon after he joined the Army, in a ceremony with such short notice that they were married in jeans and flip-flops.
She said they moved to the Augusta area last spring when he took a contracting position at Fort Gordon with a close friend from the Army.
She said she mourns the fact her husband, a diehard University of Kentucky Wildcats fan, will never get a chance to meet his son.
“There was never a doubt in my mind that he was going to be the best father,” she said. “Michael was so smart. He could have taught our son so much. Our son Michael Jr. who is due to arrive the end of June will grow up knowing what a wonderful person his father was and how he sacrificed his life for our country.”