Border Watch Part 1: The III% United Patriots tell all

NOGALES, Ariz. — A group of men and women are back home tonight after spending their “vacation” volunteering to patrol the border.

For 10 days, they set up camp in the Coronado National Forest, just outside the border city of Nogales, Arizona.

They are part of an organization known as the III% United Patriots, a group that was founded in Colorado back in 2013. It has since grown to having chapters in all 50 states.

Many lump patriot organizations together as one but this group cautions they are not all the same and they are also probably not what everyone thinks.

“I am a high school dropout but I also have four college degrees, so we’re not who everybody thinks we are,” said Mark Correll Sr., a member of the group out of Grand Junction. “I have a city councilman on my team, I have an active duty police officer on my team. I’ve even asked my doc to be on my team.”

“Who is a patriot? Anybody can be a patriot,” said .50 Cal, the co-founder of the organization. “What I see a patriot as is somebody who has firm strong beliefs in their country.”

He also said patriots are willing to fight for their beliefs but he added it doesn’t mean it has to be a violent fight.

“Everybody thinks we’re backwoods rednecks running around acting like Rambo,” said Big Bird, a member out of Florida. “Most of us out here who have this kind of gear wore this gear before to serve our country and protect our country, be it law enforcement or military so yeah we’re very misunderstood.”

Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding is who the group is trying to protect.

“It’s really in support of the other 97 percent who don’t realize that they actually need guys like us,” said Correll. “Nobody loves a warrior until you need a warrior.”

“Just like anything, like you got motorcycle groups you got the vet riders that are Christians and then you’ve got the one percent Hell’s Angels. It’s the same thing in patriot groups. I’d consider us the Christian motorcycle group,” said Yota, a Colorado member.

The III% United Patriots focuses on teaching people to become less dependent on the government and more self-sufficient.

“Just a couple of weeks ago in Colorado we had a beekeeping class,” said .50 Cal. “We have everything from extreme couponing classes to canning. We do have weapons training, everything from beginners to advance level training. First aid training, communications training, anything that would help a member in any kind of disaster scenario.”

He added a disaster doesn’t need to mean a government takeover either.

“It’s more likely that you’re gonna have to use those skills to aid your family or your community during a natural diaster or crisis of that type.”

He said this group focuses on community service and being good neighbors.

“In Colorado we have a very strong focus on veterans charities and we’ve run coat drives, food drives. We’re constantly looking for new ways to help the community,” .50 Cal said.

“An individual needed a roof put on their house and we volunteered and did all the labor and bought all the materials and put a new roof on their house,” said Yota.

But the III% United Patriots also train and they are not afraid to put their lives on the line, whether it’s to help secure our borders or for causes they may not call their own.

Right after the Orlando nightclub shooting, the organization provided security for Denver’s Pride Fest, for free.

“We did it so that members of our community, citizens could enjoy their rights, their right to go out and celebrate what they want to celebrate,” said .50 Cal. “And it wasn’t about what they believed in and it wasn’t about what they were celebrating. It was about their right to do so.”

Because “liberty for all” is not just the ending of a pledge but a way of life for these individuals and they’ll do whatever is necessary to protect it.

“My son has been to war. I’ve held him crying, 27?, how do you do that? How do you do that? It’s hard,” said Correll. “So I do not want that to happen again. I do not want my daughter involved in that. I don’t want my youngest son, my grandchildren. I want them to have the life I had, how I grew up. They don’t have that. They’re not safe anywhere. So if not me, who? So me.”

The organization said they have nothing to hide and they’re open to any individual that wants to join.

They don’t take dues or have any membership fees and all of the training they provide is free so there are no financial barriers to people getting involved.

>> Click here to learn more.

This story is part of an ongoing Border Patrol series. Coming up next: the first patrol of the border and why they say it’s necessary for somebody to take a stand.

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