Lockhart family feels effects of war
By LPR Staff
The war in Iraq hit close to home again this week, as reports came in of yet another injured soldier with Caldwell County ties.
Matthew Braddock, 24, the grandson of Donald Gaskey of Lockhart, was critically injured in near Kirkuk, Iraq last month when his convoy was struck by an anti-tank mine.
“He was driving the
Humvee and there were two others from his unit with him,” said Braddock”s mother, Rhetta Ann Braddock of Longview, Wash. “The other two had minor injuries and were sent back to their unit.”
Braddock, on the other hand, sustained serious injuries to both legs, including a severed artery. His companions were able to remove him from the vehicle and control his bleeding, which likely saved his life.
“Actually, the worst day of his life was the luckiest day of his life,” Ms. Braddock said. “They didn”t have a medic with them, but they had been doing unit lifesaver training. They knew what to do with a severed artery.”
Braddock, who was stationed in Iraq for just over a month, was there voluntarily, according to his mother.
“He”s a member of the 1st 162nd Infantry in the Oregon National Guard,” she said. “He put his name on a volunteer list because he doesn”t have a family or any children. He wanted to take the place of someone that did have families and children.”
According to his grandfather, Braddock returned stateside and was transferred to a number of different hospitals before ending up in San Antonio at Brook Army Medical Center.
Braddock underwent surgery on Tuesday to have a portion of his left leg amputated. According to Ms. Braddock, his doctors will attempt to reconstruct his right foot and ankle as well.
“This is one of the more common injuries over there,” she said. “Because of the damage those mines do to the floorboards of the vehicles, a lot of soldiers end up with foot and leg injuries.”
Cards and letters of support can be mailed to:
SP 1st Class Matthew Braddock
C/O Fisher House
George Beach Building 3623
Brook Army Center
Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78324-5000.