The morning after a deadly attack on two military centers in Chattanooga, residents in Hiram are standing watch outside the local recruiting office with their personal firearms. It is their unique way of honoring the fallen Marines and they said to protect the lives of those who serve in the military.
"I teared up. I think any human being would be touched by what happened yesterday. Any U.S. citizen that has a heart and a soul to hear what had happened," said Crystal Tewellow, who organized the watch.
Recruiting offices are designated as being "gun-free zones" which means officers working there cannot carry their sidearm into the building. Tewellow, whose son just enlisted and the army and has a brother who is a recruiter, felt compelled to organize the watch.
"To think the people who are supposed to protect and serve us are unable to protect and serve... protect themselves," said Tewellow. "So if us, the citizens, who carry permits, are able to help protect them that's, that's what we're gonna be able to do."
News Radio 106.7's Nathalie Pozo was at the recruitment center on Friday morning and reported that about 30 people answered the call to arms.
"This is who is fighting for us," said Tewellow. "This is who is giving us our freedom, who allows us to wake every day and if they're not here, and is taken down just like the Chattanooga incident, then how can we say that we are going to be able to wake up tomorrow?"
More people are expected to show up throughout the day. Twellow said they are trying to have at least one person standing vigil every hour.