Armed National Guard and armed retired military stand guard
Saturday, Gov. Greg Abbott gave orders to arm the National Guard at military facilities in the state. Now, retired military have posted up outside of some of the other recruiting centers in the area.
Randy Waters served in the Marine Corps for seven and a half years and the National Guard for another 14 years.
"The Marine Corps is probably the greatest brotherhood there is. Once you're a Marine you're always a Marine," said Waters.
Even though he hung up his uniform, his need to protect his brothers is still just as strong today.
"I will be out here as long as I possibly can," Waters said pointing to a military recruiting center in South Austin.
When Randy found out that a shooter attacked a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tenn. killing four Marines and one sailor, he wanted to do whatever he could to make sure no one else could hurt his family ever again.
"Anytime a Marine is killed, whether it's in Chattanooga, Iran, Iraq, or wherever, it hits us all," said Waters.
That's why he has been here since Monday, outside of an Austin recruiting center, armed and ready, in case someone or something threatens the men and women inside.
"Hopefully I am going to sit here for a long time and not really do anything, but should it happen, I'm going to protect the people inside that building," Waters said.
Members of the military at recruiting centers are currently not allowed to carry a weapon because of laws restricting the ability to arm military personnel off-base. Laws Randy and many others disagree with.
"There's no reason why they shouldn't be armed," Waters said.
National Guardsmen are the exception to those laws. That's why Saturday, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas National Guard to have armed men or women at military facilities in the state.
"We felt there was a credible threat and we wanted to make sure, and the Governor's guidance was very clear, 'Make sure people see that you're open for business, you're armed and you're going to protect yourself,' and that's what we're doing," said Brigadier General Patrick Hamilton with Texas Military Forces.
Hamilton said that doesn't mean the National Guard will shut themselves off from the community they serve.
"We are the National Guard. We stand here ready to support our citizens in fires, floods, hurricanes, security problems, border security, all of those things are things that we do every day and we can't just lock ourselves up and not do that, but we're going to defend ourselves in the process," said Hamilton.
Water's said he supports arming the National Guard and he hopes soon he won't be the only one at other military recruiting centers holding a weapon.