There are more than 500 armed militia groups in the U.S. CBS46 wanted to break through the stereotypes and find out what a typical militia group believes.
So I went to a training site in Alabama to spend time with the III% Security Force, which is a very tight-knit group.
I met the leader of the militia during my coverage of Charlottesville. I kept in touch with him for months and was able to earn his trust. So, I took it a step further and asked him if I could train with the force. There was some back and forth, but I did it, and it was a day I'll never forget.
As bullets fly, the men become brothers in battle.
"I've been in situations where I felt helpless, I felt defenseless, I felt that bad things could happen to me at any minute, and then I met Chris Hill with the III% Security Force," said a militia member whose call name is Rambo.
"I was always an only child, I never really had too much of a family, and these guys brought me in and they showed me what real family, what real brotherhood is all about," said another member.
The militia is based in Georgia. A few times a year, the men from Georgia and Alabama go off the grid, training for a day they hope never comes.
"If there is a foreign enemy, I don't know, it may be a Chinese, they get an aircraft carrier and storm the East Coast," said militia leader Chris Hill.
Hill served our country as a Marine from 1994-98 in Hawaii, but in the deep woods of Alabama, he's a militia leader. Out here, everybody gets a handle.
His call name is 'Blood Agent'.
Mine...is Militia Barbie.
There I was, an African American woman shooting shoulder to shoulder with Blood Agent, Guard Dog and Rambo -- the same guys who've been flagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an active anti-Muslim hate group.
"Why do you think people think of you that way?" I asked. "Why do you think people hear militia, Alabama, Georgia and think it's a stereotype?""There are some extremist groups. We're not one of them," said Rambo.
"When I talk to different people, I think sometimes it's hard to separate the imagery of these white guys in camo and Confederate flags in the back woods in Alabama and Georgia from any sort of discrimination, prejudice or racism from people who look like me," I said.
"Watch our training videos to see the diversity of the people that we have, and it's not just white people," Rambo responded.
He said it's the only way to broaden a person's scope and focus on their truth. They believe they're one part humanitarian, one part revolutionary.
"That's what we stand for, the Constitution and everything about it. The way it is and the way it should be," said Rambo.
And most importantly, one part defense, always putting faith in the brotherhood.
"That's the question everybody asks militia members, can you take a human life? Is not a matter of can I, it's will I," said Rambo "If it came down to somebody killing my brothers or sisters around me, yea I will and I'll go home and I'll sleep great."
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