WJBF News Channel 6 has confirmed that Michael Robert Bradford of Grovetown was one of four soldiers killed by an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, May 16.
Bradford, 26, was in Afghanistan working with DynCorp International on the Combined Security Transition Command. He joined the company last November after working as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan.
Bradford was a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in Iraq.
His wife, Sasha Cantrell, is expecting the couple's first child in June. She released the following statement Friday evening:
- “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.”
DynCorp International is a global services provider of aviation, logistics, training, intelligence, and operational solutions. The company provides mentors and trainers to support the development of the Afghanistan Military of Defense. The program supports development to assist Afghanistan MOD and Afghan National Army Forces in assuming full responsibility for their own security needs.