TACOMA, Wash. (AP) – Following last week’s killing of four Marines and a sailor in Chattanooga, Tennessee, two citizens grabbed their AR-15 rifles, took personal days from work and stood guard in front of the Army recruiting office in Spanaway, Washington.
The men told the News Tribune of Tacoma they’re patriots who want to protect soldiers.
By military directive, recruiters are not armed.
As the men stood guard Tuesday, passers-by brought them pizza and offered them a handshake or a pat on the back. The men said they’ll be back at the recruiting office as time allows.
Also Tuesday, a man with a rifle, shotgun and American flag sat in a beach chair outside a recruiting station in Silverdale in Kitsap County.
Similar posts have been set up outside recruitment centers in several cities around the country.
In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown is talking with the head of the state’s National Guard about possibly arming Oregon Guard recruiters.
“The Governor’s Office is currently discussing with the Adjutant General and members of the military department to determine what makes the most sense for Oregon’s bases and recruitment offices.” Brown’s office said in a statement to KOIN 6 News.
According to Major Steven Bomar with the Oregon National Guard, an armed guard could involve everything from sidearms to non-lethal weapons to even body armor similar to that worn by police.
“Some (changes) have already been implemented and those will not necessarily be seen by the public. They may be upgraded and they may be downgraded.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.