LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Military bases have stepped up security after four Marines were shot and killed in Tennessee on Thursday.
Marine Corporal Dan Wargo is a Latham native currently stationed in North Carolina. He said he is extremely concerned following the deaths of his military brothers but also because security was stepped up at his base
The unknown is terrifying.
“It kind of hits home because, like, you know, we all joined together so we all have, like, that sense of brotherhood,” he said.
Wargo said he knew the danger when he signed up at a recruitment center three years ago. But now the risk he thought he knew has changed.
He now has a feeling of deep concern after he watched the news unfold that four Marines were gunned down at a Naval Reserve Center in Tennessee.
“You have a lot of remorse for both them and their parents because, you know, it was recruiting duty,” he said. “They weren’t overseas.”
The gunman, identified as 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, was also killed.
Wargo is currently stationed at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina. He has already seen some of the impact the shooting.
“We’re stepping up security all around the bases down here, and we see it, but you kind of don’t feel that sense of security because, you know, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said.
Wargo recalled the level of security he had when he signed up.
“The recruiting center that I was recruited out of in Colonie Center, like, that is just, it’s strictly just a store front office and then anybody can just walk right in,” he said.
Recruiting offices are designed to be welcoming to encourage men and women to join, but policies could now change, according to Brian Lepley, spokesperson for Army Recruiting Command.
“You know, philosophically, we just feel it defeats the purpose if you got a recruiting center that’s barricaded like a fortress,” he said. “Like I said, there might be a reconsideration of this after the events of today, but that’s been our philosophy in having recruiting stations the way they are. The best security measure we have is the recruiters themselves. They have annual training on how to react to an active shooter incident. They also have annual training on how to spot suspicious activities. We call that force protection, and we call it security awareness.”
Wargo said his base has increased the number of personnel at the entrances, and they will be checking more IDs.
He said they may also start searching vehicles if the threat continues.
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