CLEBURNE - "I started it on Monday because I am done with losing our troops on the homeland," Terry Jackson said.
Terry Jackson, a 15-year Army vet, decided he would stand guard at his military recruiting office in Cleburne after a gunman opened fire in Chattanooga, killing four Marines and one Navy officer.
"We`re losing them while they sit in their office. It`s not acceptable," Jackson said.
Jackson will stand armed outside while the recruiting officers sit unarmed. Department of Defense policy doesn't allow any weapons inside.
"If the government isn`t going to protect our troops, then us as the people...we the people have to do it," Jackson said.
Jackson said the response has been 110% positive. And if you spend the day with him, you see why.
Folks are bringing food and drinks. Even a local business, Nolasco RPS Signs & Graphics, made signs for the group free of charge.
"I saw their cardboard signs and, owning a sign shop, that's unacceptable, so we had to come over here and take care of them," owner Rafael Nolasco said.
Folks are even shaking hands and honking car horns to show their support.
"They're not worried about us having weapons out here," Jackson explained. "They're worried about our military being protected and they're worried that we`re not getting dehydrated out here."
Yep. After two days out in the sweltering heat, Jackson ended up doing a little recruiting of his own. "Yesterday there were two of us on duty. Now you see what we have," Jackson said.
"People in Mansfield. We`ve got a group that is starting up in Haltom City. In Laredo," Bliss Goodloe said.
Goodloe is now organizing Operation Hero Guard beyond the Texas border on Facebook. "We`ve got a North Carolina page. A South Carolina page. We also have an Illinois and Oregon (page), so it is definitely spreading."
"There are people from all different religions standing out here. There are people from all political sides standing out here."
Hey, no partisanship here.
"Everyone's fighting," Jackson explained. "It`s time for America to come together."
Jackson and his new-found friends say they'll stay together til recruiting officers are allowed to be armed by law, whether it takes an act of Congress or an executive order by the President.
No matter how long it takes.