Grovetown man killed in Afghanistan suicide bombing

Suicide bomber kills Grovetown man

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.”

Statement from Bradford's wife

Michael and I met when I was a freshman in high school and he was a junior. Our relationship started off like brother and sister, we did everything together, we were best friends before we fell in love. After Michael enlisted and was sent to his first duty station in Camp Humphreys Korea.

In October that first year in Korea he said he was coming home and it was a mission to make me his. He flew me out that Christmas so we could spend it together. We were married in Washington state right after Michael was transferred to the 201st BFSB in Ft. Lewis. It was so short notice we were married in jeans and flip flops, 24 hours after our marriage I was on a plane back to Kentucky so I could finish school.

So far we have been through 4 deployments and about a week before Mike deployed to Afghanistan this last time we found out we were pregnant. Michael told me many times that it was the happiest day of his life. There was never a doubt in my mind that he was going to be the best father.

Michael was so smart. He could have taught our son so much. Michael could learn a language quicker than you could cook a pizza. He was an infectious type of person, Michael was always in a great mood and it made everyone around him feel the same. Michael would drop everything to help a friend at a moment’s notice.  Throughout Michael's military service he made so many amazing friends. Michael would talk about all of his military friends all the time.

Last spring we moved out to Augusta Ga, for a contracting position at Ft. Gordon with a close friend from the Army. Michael wanted more than anything to attend the Masters, and was planning trying to make it in 2014 after he got back.

Michael was a die hard Kentucky fan and would send pictures from overseas with his UK flag hanging in his CHU. He was such a sports fan that when we got our dog while living in Seattle he told me either the dog or our first born could be named ESPN. So naturally our dog’s name is ESPN. 

I want to thank the Bradford family every day for raising such a great person. 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. 

LEARN MORE: Read more family reaction at Cincinnati.com

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Mon, 12/05/2016 - 22:47

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