“They expected to be safe” – Vietnam veteran reflects on sadness, need for prayer following Chattanooga shooting

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SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) -- The shooting in Chattanooga that left four Marines dead and others wounded surpasses understanding, especially for people who agreed to defend our nation  either now or decades ago.

Glass litters the ground, cracks splinter through what is now a crime scene.

One day later, our nation remains stunned.

Four Marines are dead, and investigators are searching for answers about the man who killed them and his motives.

Carson Holmquist, David Wyatt, and Thomas Sullivan had all served overseas. Skip Wells was the youngest of those killed. He enlisted as a Marine in 2014.

An hour down the road in Scottsboro, Alabama, a man sits at a table under the shade of a tree, near what will soon be a Veterans Memorial Park.

"I was drafted into the military, in the U.S. Army,  in Vietnam," Raymond Brandon, Jr. says. He wears a hat denoting that proud fact.

He says the shooting that killed four of the men he and others in our military call brothers is unfathomable. "The first reaction was sadness," Brandon says, "You think about what you went off and fought for, and you come back and you're expected to be safe in the United States, and you're not."

It's a thought the nation mirrors.  "They were asked to go serve their country, and that's what they did and they expected to be safe when they got back to this country, and of course they weren't," Brandon says.

"We just need to pray. I pray for the military, and I feel like they need our prayers."

"It's just a sad situation," he says.