FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Thursday marks 400 days of the Oath Keepers guarding the military recruiting center at Glenbrook Commons, and their mission is nearing its end.
“We made a commitment,” Oath Keeper Mark Cowan said. “We stuck with it. A lot of people said why and we said they’re not allowed to protect themselves.”
Oath Keepers started standing guard in front of the recruiting center last July after several military personnel where shot and killed in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Military recruiters aren’t allowed to carry weapons, so the Oath Keepers are doing it for them and standing guard out front.
“It started out with two guys doing this and it’s grown into 80 guys and a lot of dedication,” Cowan said.
Over the months the volunteers have grown close to the soldiers and business owners in the plaza, and the mission for the past 400 days has stayed the same.
“It’s always been to make sure these guys can go home to their families at night when their done,” Oath Keeper Bryan Humes said.
Now, 400 days later that mission is coming to a close. Security at the recruiting center is on track to get beefed up significantly.
“Ballistic benches, blinds and all the stuff to harden it up with cameras and door bells so you can’t just walk in anymore,” Cowan said. “Stuff to stop vehicles from driving into it. It’s all being done. It’s all be authorized and okayed. We’re just waiting on construction to start and when they’re finished and that’s hardened we can go.”
Until then, the mission continues.
“When you take on a mission you complete it,” Cowan said.
The construction to improve security is expected to be done within the next month. The Oath Keeper said while they won’t be as visible in front of the recruiting center after it’s finished, they still plan on stopping in to check on their friends inside the recruiting office.