Sergeant DeMonte Cheeley, a Marine Corps recruiter shot in the Chattanooga terror attack is back to finding the next wave of hardass Marines.
“My job as a Marine recruiter is to be out there as the face of the Marine Corps and America,” he said. “We are going to continue to push forward. We are back to work.”
Sgt. Cheeley originally thought a firecracker had gone off, but that single pop was quickly followed by multiple bullets shattering the front windows of his recruiting office and it was all to clear he and the other recruiters were under attack.
“From the position I was in, I could see him, but I didn’t look directly out the door,” he said. “The immediate response was to get up and head towards the back office. After the first initial shot there the rounds were continuous.”
Under the barrage of fire, the recruiters know they had to move quickly, so they spilled out the rear door of the office as rounds continued to pierce the storefront of their office.
The attacker, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, then sped off to his next target where he would take the lives of 4 Marines and a sailor and would then be killed himself.
Filled with adrenaline, Sgt. Cheeley took cover behind dumpsters and noticed what he thought was a scratch. When his gunnery sergeant took a look he told Cheeley he’d been shot and responders on the scene called an ambulance.
“I was sitting in the front office on a couch when the shooting started so I thought glass nipped me in the back of the leg,” he said.
Since the attack, Sgt. Cheeley said there has been an amazing outpouring from and already welcoming and patriotic community.
He said: “They have been outside since it happened last Thursday — a constant flow of people bringing flowers and holding flags out there all day long.”