Tom Brewer, the soldier senator who was elected to the Legislature in 2016 following a 36-year military career that included a series of sniper shooting championships, is going back into action in Bulgaria later this month.

Brewer has decided to participate in an International Sniper Cup event on a range near Sofia that will retest his shooting skills.

"I know it's been 20 years since I won the last championship, but we will see if time has taken a toll," the Gordon state senator said.

Brewer was twice wounded in Afghanistan, shot six times during a spontaneous firefight with the Taliban in 2003 that left him with 12 broken ribs, a broken sternum, a broken nose and shrapnel wounds throughout his body.

During his sixth tour in Afghanistan in 2011, he was wounded again. 

Sniper championships are one more part of a rich military legacy that includes piloting Cobra attack helicopters and running 39 marathons. 

"For me, shooting started at a very young age as a way of surviving on the Indian reservation hunting game," Brewer said. "But that skill has come in handy in the military."

Nebraska's only Native American state senator grew up as an Oglala Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Brewer has won 10 national shooting championships and in 1997 he won the world sniper championship.

In 1996, he helped coach the U.S. men's shooting team during training in advance of the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

"I have been a team member and have coached the all-National Guard and all-Army shooting teams to both national and world championships," Brewer said.

In 1999, he was selected as the national director of the Marksmanship Training Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

And now he's ready to test his shooting skills in competition once again. 

Just the next adventure in a career that has had him parachuting with German soldiers as part of a NATO exercise and serving as a U.S. liaison officer with the Russian Army during a military exchange program.

And another reminder of what he said during an interview in his third month in the Legislature in 2017.

"I'm going to go as hard and fast as I can for as long as I can."

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.


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