The angels that follow Bradley
My nephew Bradley was stationed in the most volatile areas of IRAQ (Fallujah, Tikrik) and constantly witnessed brutal killings. He is back with us in the US- alive and well.When Bradley got sent to Iraq, it was devastating for our entire family. But we were also proud, particularly because Bradley was a dedicated soldier, with the desire to honor his position and serve this great nation. The minute the war began to escalate to the level that it did, he became increasingly vulnerable and even began to reconsider his desire to serve. It was at this point that our family became profoundly worried, because all we imagined was a young, scared boy using massive weapons to fight against equally young, naive, yet fundamental enemies.
We have been offering up prayers to St. Jude on Bradley's behalf for many years- well for the full run of both his tours. For me, personally, my faith increased substantially when I would ponder on two very stark experiences that Bradley had, out of many. The first was when he sat beside one of his closest friends in a Humvee, probing out an area that was deemed highly dangerous. The humvee suddenly blew up. Brad's friend died. He watched him die. Bradley suffered tremendous guilt for having made it out alive. But God not only protected his life, He also helped to placate Bradley's terrible feelings of guilt thereafter, and took him to a place of peace and acceptance.
The second incident occurred on base. Bradley was promoted to MP (Military Police) status and had been probing the compound one day/night, while on duty. Suddenly a young boy of about 8 years old came running toward him with around five molatov cocktails attached to him. The child was crying and Brad tried to stop him but Brad also realized that the cocktails were ready to detonate and he had a duty to save his countrymen and not to mention himself. Bradley was faced with a tough choice. He had to get close enough to the boy to turn off the explosives, but that would require killing him. The child got closer and closer and Bradley's devastation mounted into total confusion but he regained consciousness and had to shoot the boy.
I assisted Bradley with spiritual counseling following this experience (with a catholic priest). It devastated him. He felt like a murderer. But he had no choice. Over time, he came to realize that he was fighting against a force that was truly evil and incomprehensible, so that he had to remain duty bound to the cause at hand, and his own life was at risk, so he grew to accept the notion that he also had to defend himself. The child would have blown up and blown him up, in addition to other MPs on base.
Bradley has been back in the US, safe and sound, for almost a full year, now. We are abundantly grateful and feel overwhelmingly blessed. I am actually grateful for this particular opportunity right now- to share Brad's experience- because I need to be reminded how great God continues to be to my family, during times when I am feeling that things could go better, and I spiral into self woeful behavior. Notwithstanding the trials I may face, I know that God is blessing me and my family in intrinsic ways. Bradley is alive. Alleluia.
God provided His holy protection and has given Bradley a chance to live a full life. Our prayers to St. Jude never stopped and Bradley wore his St. Jude pin on his uniform and never took it off.
I know that I will praise my God forever. He is miraculous and so merciful and gives us so many chances in life. I am so grateful.
Thank you St. Jude, for watching over our Bradley. Praise the Lord. All active news articles