Support for Navy and Marines returning to work on Amnicola Highway
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
The Navy and Marine Reserve Center is back open and service members are back on base. There's no longer any FBI presence on Amnicola Highway, but the reserve center is far from being back to normal.
The front entrance here is still boarded up, after the shooter open fired 15 days ago.
"The Sailors and Marines are returning back to work, there are obviously counselors, chaplains available for them through this tragedy," said USN Commander Charlie Summers.
CDR Summers traveled from the Pentagon to help make the transition back to work as comfortable as possible for the Navy Sailors and Marines stationed on Amnicola Highway.
CDR Summers says the growing tribute out front helps them return.
"A lot of us, we're certainly going to draw strength from one another, certainly draw strength through faith and from the community itself."
As they return, they're taking a look at their security policies, at the direction of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
Carter wants all military branches to consider adding armed personnel on site to help prevent a similar tragedy.
"We will continue to make those assessments obviously that's something that does take a little time but we're taking the necessary security precautions," CDR Summers said.
Meanwhile thousands of people are standing behind the servicemen who fired back at the shooter on July 16.
A petition sent to the White House wants them to be honored.
It names Navy Lt. Commander Tim White as one person who fired at the shooter with his personal weapon, and asks the President to award LCDR White with a medal of bravery, along with the other servicemen who lost their lives.
The petition is circulating on Facebook with LCDR White's wife posting a picture of her family, saying "help us honor this courageous man."
CDR Summers is working with the Navy to plan a memorial service for the fallen service members here in Chattanooga on August 15th.
Details are still being worked out, but it will be at the McKenzie Arena on UTC's campus.