Standing Guard

Volunteers will be standing guard outside of the military recruitment offices in Wichita Falls.

"We're out here to show support for the recruiters," Mac Mastroni, a retired veteran said.

Mastroni said standing outside the offices is a start because something needs to change.

As he pointed out, the recruiters are not allowed to arm themselves or protect themselves,  this is why he and a group of veterans are doing it for them.

"I've been in these guys shoes before," he said, "I was a recruiter in Los Angeles during several of the riots, and I was in the same boat.  No uniform, and I couldn't protect myself, and it's a scary ride."

Mastroni is a retired veteran who served in the Air Force for 26 years.  After hearing about the tragedy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, it brought up a lot of emotions for him, including frustration.

"It just makes you sick to your stomach," he said, "You know, it's just sick that in our country, on our soil, that we've let these people run around and you know, what they've done, starting with 9/11 and on."

Last week Mastroni got a message from an old veteran friend about standing guard at the recruiting facilities, and he immediately said he would take part.

"I'm Air Force, those guys were Marines and Navy, but it doesn't matter," he said. "We're all Department of Defense, we're all military, we stick together."

Monday was the first day for the veterans.  They plan on standing guard from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and making sure the recruiters have protection.  As for how long they will do it, he said as long as it takes.

"This is our community and we're going to do what we can, to try to help," Mastroni said, "If somebody tries to roll up, and tries something like that, we're going to do what we can to stop it."

Some people might think as incident like the one in Chattanooga could never happen in Wichita Falls.  However, Mastroni said, the people there didn't think it could happen there either, so logically it can happen anywhere.  So he said it is better to be prepared, then left picking up the pieces.

"It's not about us.  It's about these guys here," Mastroni said.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6