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Local soldier returns to Iraq with prosthetic leg

first_imgA local soldier from Vancouver is returning for his second tour of duty in Iraq, remarkable because he’s an amputee.A roadside bomb tore apart Sgt. Matt Braddock’s Humvee outside of Kirkuk five years ago, and he lost part of his left leg.Braddock was among 500 soldiers mobilized Tuesday for Operation New Dawn in Iraq. He is one of only a few soldiers in America to return — combat ready — as an amputee, according to the Oregon National Guard.Braddock learned how to walk and run again at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He worked tirelessly to pass physical tests, and he appeared before military medical boards to convince them he could go back without being a liability to his fellow soldiers.“He’s probably had to prove it at a level that a soldier without handicaps would never have to meet, which is, I think, reasonable,” said Braddock’s mother, Rhetta Drennan of Vancouver.“I’ve been waiting for the last five years for this. I’ve been working at it,” said Braddock by phone from Camp Shelby in Mississippi.last_img read more