Several Owensboro veterans and residents are watching over the career center on Southtown Boulevard, armed with military style rifles and pistols. They say they want to protect those who serve our country.
Greg McBride is spending his day looking out at a parking lot.
“Little warm. Little windy. Keeps things cool,” he says while looking out, and watching out for potential danger.
“My wife just texted me asking what am I doing, or where am I at? I told her I’m here at the recruiting office, standing guard,” McBride says.
McBride, an Army veteran, is one of several people standing guard outside the recruiting center since monday, armed and ready to protect the few and the proud from another chattanooga happening here. It’s one of several centers across the country now under protection.
“Just, basically, them being a coward to face us, taking it upon themselves to do whatever they got to do to harm us,” he says, describing why the Chattanooga shooting motivated him to guard the center. “We’re here to protect our people.”
“We’re all one,” adds Nick Hetman, of American Legion Post 9. He is retired Navy. Hetman says the guarding is also to show appreciation for recruiters. He believes recruiters should be allowed to carry inside like they’re allowed to outside.
“To think the military can’t carry weapons to defend our nation, and can’t carry weapons to defend themselves, I’m sorry, that’s wrong,” Hetman says. “That’s my opinion and it’s wrong.”
“We’ve had several people come up, thanking us for being here, thanking us for our service in the military and to keep up the good job,” McBride adds.
Kentucky Representative Kevin Bratcher of Louisville is asking Governor Steve Beshear for tougher security measures at recruiting centers. Indiana Governor Mike Pence recently signed an executive order arming Indiana National Guard at state facilities and recruiting offices.