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Survivor of Two Mass Shootings Ready to Fight for Second Amendment in Afghanistan

Marine escaped both Las Vegas and Thousand Oaks

A U.S. Marine who survived two of the nation’s most horrific mass shootings told The New York Times in an article published on Wednesday that he looks forward to protecting the right to bear arms and other freedoms after he is deployed to Afghanistan in two weeks.

Brendan Kelly, 22, was at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, with friends on November 7 when gunman David Long walked in, killed 13 people — and wounded more than 10 others.

And Kelly was also with friends at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, when gunman Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured more than 400 others.

Over 800 total victims were wounded during the mass panic as gunshots rang out.

The Las Vegas shooting became the deadliest mass shooting on U.S. soil.

Both mass shootings propelled the gun-control debate to the forefront of national discourse.

But Kelly said “his experience has only made him feel more determined to fight enemies abroad and protect what he sees as essential freedoms he has here, like the right to bear arms and to worship freely.”

“This is what I can do,” Kelly told The Times.

“This is what my role is supposed to be, as an able-bodied and willing young man,” he also said.

The Marine, whom many praised after he shielded a woman during the Las Vegas massacre, lost two of his friends in the Thousand Oaks massacre.

Kelly admitted he still suffers from nightmares and “replaying the terrible things that happened.”

He also said he briefly saw a therapist after the Thousand Oaks shooting and found support from his friends and family.

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Kelly tattooed the names of his two friends who died during the Thousand Oaks massacre on his left shoulder.

“As a religious man, but also as a human being, I know we’re all going to die someday, unfortunately,” Kelly said. “But it’s something we all have to come to terms with, some of us sooner rather than later.”

“God has big plans for me, and I know that,” Kelly added. “Even though I’ve been through all these events, I am just a guy that’s trying to figure it out like everybody else is at the end of the day. And try to make sense of it all. It’s going to be OK that it doesn’t make sense because there’s no real way for it to make sense.”

After his service, Kelly plans to become an urban firefighter.

Now Kelly, who signed up for the reserves in 2015, is preparing for his first deployment next month.

Kelly told The Times he most likely will be in Afghanistan for six to eight months.

After his service, Kelly plans to become an urban firefighter.

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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected].