A Look At America’s Newest Generation of Fighting Men and Women

Name: Spc. Christopher Bradford

Unit: 54th Quartermaster Company, 240th QM Battalion, 49th QM Group

MOS: 92M – mortuary affairs specialist

Time in service: four years

Age: 30

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

Family: son, Taveras, 7 months old

Pastimes: “Studying the word; writing Christian rap songs, stories, poetry and I try to do work in the community like going out to feed the homeless.”

How you would describe yourself: “I’m pretty much humble, laid back; giving; honest, caring and compassionate.”

The person I admire the most: “The first person I admire is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The second person I admire is my mom (Lisa Renee Wilson). She had me her senior year in high school, but she finished school, joined the military, got her education and has been working in child education for more than 24 years.”

One thing that changed your life: “The one thing that changed my life is coming into a more intimate relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and coming into the military, experiencing something different from where I grew up. And being able to accomplish everything that I was told I couldn’t when I was younger or wasn’t smart enough to accomplish. Being in the Army has been a life-changing experience for me.”

Biggest challenge of your life: “The PT test and the run. I’ve never been good at the run, and I found out I had scoliosis and I grew up with an enlarged heart, so I have trouble breathing when I run. Even though I tried my hardest, I was always lagging behind.”

Why did you join the Army?: “It was a childhood dream, ever since I watched ‘G.I. Joe.’ I’m just living my dream right now.”

Best thing about the Army: “Even though PT is my weakest area, getting up in the morning and running and singing cadence with my company, getting that sense of belonging, sense of pride, sense of unity and sense of doing something bigger than yourself.”

Worst thing about the Army: “In my MOS, mortuary affairs, we really don’t get to do our job unless we’re training or are deployed. Sometimes we do jobs outside of our MOS or wind up sitting around with nothing to do. Me, I’m used to working, being on my feet, constantly moving. So I guess the bad part about the Army would be the sometimes lack of mission.”

You’ve just completed a tour in Afghanistan. What are your thoughts about handling the remains of our fallen?: “It’s kind of bittersweet and surreal. The surreal part about it is that you’re working on remains and you get into a habit you’re just doing your job. You don’t really think about it (the remains) as someone human. It actually helps you accomplish your task because you’re just trying to be as professional as you can. The bittersweet part of that is you’re getting to perform your job, but at the same time, you know there’s a loss to somebody, a loss of one of our brothers. And with me being a Christian, I kind of get to thinking ‘I hope he had a relationship with Jesus before he died.’ That’s the bitter part. The sweet part is we’re sending him home with dignity and honor, like if he were living.”

Goals: “My future goals are to finish up my bachelor’s, work on my masters and work on getting a doctorate. My life’s goal is to become a pediatrician and have my own practice. I’m halfway there.”

– Compiled by T. Anthony Bell