Armed veteran stands watch outside Military recruitment center

With the tragic attack in Tennessee still on many minds, one man is taking action.

He went outside a local recruiting office in Auburn Hills - armed, ready and on-guard.

From 1983 to 1989 Vince Burtch took his marching orders from the U.S. Army. Now he makes his own.

"Just because we are retired or out of the military doesn't mean that we don't care," Burtch said. "We are going to stick by our brothers and sisters and make sure everything is safe for them."

The death of four marines and a sailor at the recruiting center in Tennessee at the hands of a suspected terrorist brought him and his AR-15 to the sidewalk outside the recruiting center in Auburn Hills.

"We're not a bunch of gun nuts walking the sidewalks," Burtch said. "We are here defending the military that defends our freedom." 

The sign on the door of the Military recruiting center explains why he's here. Recruiters by law can't carry on the job.
So he called up the recruiting office and told them his plan.

"They told us it's going to be nice to go to work without having to look out the windows and keep a check on things," Burtch said. "I just told them we are hear to make a presence, these are not soft targets. There are people out there willing to step up."

It's not just the recruiters welcoming the sight of a well-armed security guard of sorts.

"We gathered water from our office and wanted to give that to them and thank them," said supporter Denise Cichowski. 

"I think we need to shake their hand and appreciate them instead of looking the other way and say somebody's crazy," said supporter Ron Harmon. "They are not crazy this is what America is about, protecting their own and keeping people safe."

The reaction to Burtch patrolling has been mostly positive.

"A lot of honking and thumbs up," he said. "A couple of head shakes because people don't know what we are out here doing."

But Burtch and people like him can't stand guard forever. His hope is the efforts call attention to lawmakers who can then allow the recruiters to defend themselves.
In the meantime:

"We may not be here tomorrow, we may be here next week," said Burtch. "You never know where we are going to pop up. We are just going to hit different recruiting stations and make sure everyone goes home safe." 

FOX 2 reached out to the main Military recruiting office for comment but haven't received a statement.