LANSING, Mich. -- A former Michigan National Guardsman and member of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee in the state House of Representatives said Sunday he will introduce legislation requiring full-time National Guard personnel in Michigan be armed to protect themselves from terrorist attacks such as last week's fatal shooting of four U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy sailor at a storefront military recruiting office in Tennessee.
Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, also wrote Gov. Rick Snyder, urging him not to wait on legislative action but to follow the lead of governors in Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, and Oklahoma in taking immediate action to arm National Guard personnel and increase security at Guard facilities, including storefront recruiting offices.
"The state of Michigan should not wait to order common sense steps that under the current civilian leadership of the Pentagon may never come to protect the lives of our military service men and women on duty here at home in Michigan," Glenn wrote in an e-mail to Snyder. "I urge you as commander-in-chief of the Michigan National Guard to take immediate action to order increased security at Guard facilities in Michigan and to issue weapons that enable trained military personnel -- in response to terrorist or other attacks -- to protect themselves, their co-workers and families, and the civilian population of our state."
Glenn said his legislation will be modeled after executive orders issued by state National Guard commanders-in-chief such as:
Gov. Mike Pence, Indiana
Gov. Rick Scott, Florida
Glenn enlisted during the Gulf War buildup in 1990 and was honorably discharged after eight years with the U.S. Army Reserves and Army National Guard, including with the 1460th Transportation Company headquartered in Midland. He serves as chairman of the Michigan chapter of Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, in honor of his late father, a Marine who survived the Japanese attack that began U.S. involvement in World War II, served two years thereafter in the Pacific, and was called back to active duty during the Korean War.
Glenn was in Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001, speaking that morning at a conference two blocks north of the White House. "I saw the black smoke rising from the Pentagon and people running in fear from the White House. We are long past the time we should have taken common sense steps to protect the lives of military personnel from terrorists we know full well can and will target them even here in our own communities."