Between live fire drills, learning how to handle a sniper situation and preparing for disaster situations, the Texas Militia is comprised of a bunch of guys with normal lives and jobs who "just want to be here for the community."
A film crew with a major TV network that could not be named for privacy purposes scouted the militia Saturday and Sunday during a training sessi...on in Comfort, evaluating it as the subject of a potential TV series.
"It's one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities," said Terry Melton, Texas Militia media relations person and videographer, of allowing film crews to document the organization. "We're up for it, I think."
According to texasmilitia.org, the militia is a military force composed of ordinary citizens who provide defense, emergency law enforcement or paramilitary service in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service.
A militia would be called to military or law enforcement action if those organized government entities were unable to defend their country or mission.
Melton said the Texas Militia is not a political organization or anti-government, contrary to what some believe.
The organization serves the community in a number of ways, including relief help during times of crisis and emergency.
"We just want to help the community - honestly that's what we're all about," Melton said.
Mike Scott, a Comfort resident and Texas Militia member, said militias have, in the past, been known to have a negative connotation, and he believes a TV series will help America see what really goes on in the organization.
He said the media often portrays militias negatively, focusing on extremist members who are gun crazy, anti-government and all about destruction. Militias also have been known to be political groups that are united in their beliefs of the federal government's threat to their freedom.
"It's all about improving our image," Scott said. "Our organization, what we do, it's all good."
The Hill Country chapter - the Hill Country Hellcats of the Texas Militia - are the subjects of the possible TV series, which would feature three stars, including Scott.
Griff Clipson, member and possible TV personality, said he "fell" into the militia about eight months ago and has had a family ever since.
"I'm hoping this will change the portrayal of militias in general," Clipson said of the members making a contribution through the militia.
Although the militia is comprised of civilians, a lot of members are former military.
Adam Fitzer, member and possible TV personality, spent 11 years as an infantryman in the military and said he just wanted to continue to serve.
"It's been my new home," he said of the Texas Militia, adding that they have a lot of plans for the future.
The major network looking into producing the show first saw the militia on YouTube, in videos Melton produced about the organization.
One of the film crew members, who could not be named, said the militia was impressive and more than professional.
"Everyone's been very hospitable," he said, adding that they came down to see what they are all about.
When training completed Sunday, the group, outfitted in bright orange vests, walked a 3-mile stretch of Cypress Creek Road to pick up litter for their adopt-a-highway program.
"We're not just about the guns," Melton said, adding that they try to help where they can when they can. "We just want to protect Texas, protect America and protect our families."
Melton said the organization takes people from all walks of life and encourages people to check out their website, www.texasmilitia.org, and come to any events, practices or training they hold.
Scott also encourages people to call the militia for help, whether their roof blows off or if they're in need of disaster relief help.
"We're warm bodies, we're here, if you need us call us," he said. "We help people, we help each other."