TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A militia team has been standing guard at a string of recruiting offices in Tyler today.
The recent Chattanooga shooting that left five military servicemen dead prompted action to protect our military across the nation. Some of that action includes Governor Abbott's authorization of arming National Guard personnel at military facilities across the state of Texas.
It was an unusual sight to see blinds closed, doors locked, and the only way in being a knock on a locked front door.
"You've got the Air Force, the Navy, and the Marine recruiting offices here," said Jerry Pleasant, Commander of the 423rd Texas Light Foot Militia. "They're going to see who's out here before they open the door."
Pleasant is a retired senior chief of the U.S. Navy.
"They cannot arm themselves to protect themselves," said Pleasant. "As a citizen soldier and the member of the militia, I have the right to do that."
He and his militia team say they are ready to defend the office as armed citizens.
"I spent a couple hours on Friday in the parking out there, and we decided today that we wanted to go for public exposure, just to let the community know that our recruiting stations are being watched," said Pleasant.
The Tyler Police Department would not speak to us about the presence of the two militia men, but they were present around the offices multiple times throughout the day.
Surrounding businesses also refused to comment on the added security presence at the shopping center.
"We will continue, until we feel perhaps the threat is gone," said Pleasant. "They're always brothers in arms. Once you take that oath to the constitution to protect it against all enemies foreign and domestic. That never goes away. That does not expire until you expire."
We reached out to the Marine Corps headquarters for a statement regarding these armed citizens.
They said they greatly appreciate the support of the American public during this tragedy, but they ask that citizens to not stand guard at their public offices.