Soldier recovers after severe injury

August 13, 2008 5:12:21 PM PDT
A Fort Bragg soldier's long road to recovery was filled with several bumps and bruises.In 2003, the Fort Bragg Staff Sergeant Richard Bradley was severely injured when he got entangled in his parachute during a training exercise.

"I mean I prayed to God that he just take me out of here. I didn't want to live any more. And I woke up the next day and I was still here. And that's when I decided He's keeping me around for a reason," Bradley said.

He believes that reason is to take care of his family.

"I got entangled so bad I actually fell from about treetop level without much lift capability. And I landed on my S.A.W. M249 Machine Gun. It just busted my whole left side up," Bradley said.

He has undergone six surgeries. He broke his back, hip, pelvis, leg and two ribs. Bradley says to top it off, he and his wife had a baby two weeks before the accident.

"I really actually thought he was going to walk on a cane for the rest of his life, have a limp --wouldn't be able to do any hard work or run or any strenuous activities, nothing," Bradley's wife Anisha said.

But Bradley says he didn't let his injury get the best of him. After years of medical treatment and physical therapy, Bradley is back in great physical shape. He has even won the Army's physical fitness award of excellence.

"He got hurt and he got through a lot of that pain and he's still living. I'm proud of him," Bradley's daughter Anijah said.

Bradley has recovered so well, he finally got to deploy to the Middle East with his unit. He lso ran a 6.2 mile road race in Kuwait.

Sergeant Bradley says he loves to share his story with other injured soldier and hopes it inspires them to never give up on their recovery.


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