Veteran guarding military recruiting center in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - A disabled veteran is voluntarily standing guard at a U.S. Navy Recruiting Station.
Steven Castellano says he's been standing, armed outside the recruiting center on Siegen Lane since Tuesday because of what happened in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last week. A military recruiting center was shot up and a Navy Support Center was attacked. Four marines and a Navy officer were killed. They were unarmed.
"That was a tipping point for me," he said.
Castellano served 14-and-a-half years in the Navy. Wednesday, with his AR-15 and .40 caliber pistol by his side, he stood guard in the shopping center parking lot; at times, pacing feet from the doors of the recruiting station. Castellano stands watch during operating hours, to provide protection those who serve and who walk in and out of the door.
He's not allowed to go inside where the people are unarmed, but Castellano believes they deserve to be able to protect themselves.
"We spend hundreds of thousands [of dollars] to train them, but they can't have something," he said. "We need to keep our guys safe. They're doing the same for us and as veterans, I know not everyone has the time, but sometimes you got to make time."
Castellano said he'll be standing guard outside the recruiting station while it's open, Monday-Friday.