From IJReview: In the weeks following the July attack on two military centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, both lawmakers and citizens were determined to ensure that such a tragedy could never occur again by finding ways to increase security in gun-free military zones.
In Cullman, Alabama, one group of Marines partnered with one of their own for help with that mission, as WIAT reported on in July.
Now, with the project completed just a few short months later, military personnel at the Armed Forces Career Center in Cullman have an extra level of protection, thanks to World War II Marine vet Roy Drinkard.
At 95 years old, Drinkard doesn’t seem to have slowed down, acting as the president and CEO of Drinkard Development Inc., which owns the building that houses the Armed Forces Career Center.
In order to learn more about the project and the incredible veteran behind it, IJ spoke with Drinkard Development vice president Jason Grimmett, who explained that the company owns property in six states, much of which is leased to the government.
Because of this, Grimmett says that the Chattanooga attack “sent up a lot of alarms” for the company:
“And when that happened the first thing Mr. Drinkard wanted to do was figure out how to prevent that from happening here. So we started calling around and we talked to some local Marines from the Cullman area and they thought it would be a great idea if we put some bulletproof windows in.
We presented that to Roy…and he said let’s do it.”
Initially expecting costs to range around $8-10 thousand for the new glass, Grimmett says they soon realized the entire front of the store would have to be re-engineered to hold the “extremely heavy” bulletproof material.
In the end, the project cost Drinkard $33,000, but the World War II vet wasn’t complaining.
The result – level 4 ballistic glass on the storefront windows and door, strong enough to stop a .30-.06 round from a hunting rifle.
Grimmett says the company hopes that their ‘donation’ will inspire change for other recruiting centers across the country:
“Our hopes are two-fold: that the government will step up and make this a requirement in their buildings…
Our other hope, in the meantime, because it’ll take [the government] forever to do that, is that other landlords across the country will take heed and follow suit.”
Of the $33,000 dollar improvement, Grimmett noted that it was “a small gesture that we could do, and we’re glad to do it.”
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—Courtesy of IJ Review