Lt. Cmdr. Tim White, who sought to defend his staff against Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez's deadly 2015 attack in Chattanooga, received a standing ovation from a joint convention of the Tennessee House and Senate today.
White delivered the invocation to lawmakers who gathered to reelect the state's comptroller, treasurer and secretary of state.
In introducing White, re-elect Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, drew applause from members in the House chamber when the senator said "as a little historical note, the first three bullets that went into jihadist were from Commander White's gun."
Abdulazeez killed four U.S. Marines and a sailor at the Navy center after earlier attacking U.S. and Tennessee National Guard recruiting centers a few miles away.
Abdulazeez himself died in a hail of gun fire from Chattanooga police officers. Following an investigation, FBI Director James Comey later Abdulazeez was "motivated by foreign terrorist organization propaganda."
White was not authorized to carry a personal sidearm, but Pentagon officials took no action against White.
After citing a Biblical verse that says in part "praise the name of the Lord," White prayed "father that you make us to be faithful to you."