A story which has given many Americans some form of comfort in this trying time following the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, is that of Army Private Glendon "Glen" Oakley, who during one of the deadliest shootings in recent memory, put himself in harm's way to protect the innocent and defenseless.
When Oakley heard the gunshots and began attempting to escape the scene of the shooting, he reportedly “saw kids in the mall without their parents, scared and alone." Oakley responded the way any hero would: by getting as many children to safety as he possibly could.
This is Glen Oakley.— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) August 3, 2019
He was in the @FootLocker when the El Paso shooting happened. When he ran to leave, he saw kids in the mall without their parents, scared and alone.
So he picked up as many as he could and carried them to safety.
Focus on the heroes.#ElPasoShooting pic.twitter.com/1NofPvegjL
"I did that because that's what I was trained to do. That is what the military has taught me to do," Oakley told reporters Sunday. "But I really want you guys to focus on the people that are actually grieving through this. Yes, I'm grieving, but I'm not the one that lost a family member. Yes, it feels like I have lost one. But they are the ones that need to be the [focus]."
After hearing that, in the 20 people who died in the tragic shooting, four were children, Oakley tweeted on his now-private Twitter account:
4 kids confirmed dead , I could’ve did more than I did
Though Oakley has been hard on himself in the days after the tragedy, one thing is absolutely clear: He is a hero who saved several lives, and though he thinks he could have done more, the children he saved and their families will be thankful to him for the rest of their lives.