It started as what appeared to be a press conference.
"Today we're here to announce a partnership between Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinic in the Department of Dermatology and the State of Vermont," said Vermont Senate President John Campbell.
But that was just a rouse.
"That's not really why we are here," Campbell added.
The crowd at Dartmouth Hitchcock came together to celebrate the life of fallen soldier Kevin Sheehan -- and surprise the older sister, Karen, he left behind.
"I'm very surprised. I had no idea this is going to happen," Sheehan said.
Kevin died in combat in Iraq in May of 2004, and since then Karen, who lives in New Hampshire, has wanted a Gold Star license plate for her car. They are given to the parents of fallen soldiers. She helped raise her brother and tried to get a plate from the New Hampshire DMV, but it didn't work out. So a group of Vermont leaders secured an honorary "Gold Star Family" plate to pay tribute to the soldier with Green Mountain roots.
"To be able to put it in your car and have people ask you about who he was or what it means -- it means everything. I want them to be remembered," Sheehan said.
Karen said the 36-year-old had a big heart and who put his family first. "He's gone, but he was a good guy and he worked hard and he loved me and he loved his family," she said.
"Kevin was a wonderful man. He was very much a loving father -- loving spouse. He was very much involved in his community," said Vermont National Guard CW2 Peter Labrie.
Nine years later, it's Karen's community of co-workers and friends who rallied around her to celebrate the life of the brother and American hero she lost. "It's up to us to keep their memories alive -- for those kids -- and he is always in my heart and there is no day that goes by that I don't think of him," Sheehan said.
Nearly a decade after her loss, the Gold Star sister has a new way to remember her brother.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 11:55 PM EDT2013-06-19 03:55:09 GMT
An award winning journalist from Vermont has died.Michael Hastings was killed early Tuesday morning in a car accident in Los Angeles.Hastings was best known for his Rolling Stones article on General StanleyMore >>
Michael Hastings was killed early Tuesday morning in a car accident in Los Angeles.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 11:54 PM EDT2013-06-19 03:54:26 GMT
Bennington Rural Fire Station was packed with people and support for the 15 members recently suspended over their part in an annual stunt. "Do you realize these are the real heroes of America?" askedMore >>
Bennington Rural Fire Station was packed with people and support for the 15 members recently suspended over their part in an annual stunt.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 11:53 PM EDT2013-06-19 03:53:55 GMT
Glen Goodall served in the South Pacific during World War II, now the Williamstown vet is in Washington D.C. for two very special honors.Tuesday marked the 94-year-old's first trip to the nation's capitalMore >>
Glen Goodall served in the South Pacific during World War II, now the Williamstown vet is in Washington DC for two very special honors.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:41 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:41:56 GMT
Former Bennington Rural Fire Department chief Joseph Hayes pleaded not guilty Monday to embezzlement charges stemming from a department-sponsored raffle when he was chief. Participants told police theyMore >>
A former chief at the Bennington Rural Fire Department faces embezzlement charges and 16 volunteers are in hot water over another incident. As allegations of misconduct stack up, some residents are worried about their safety.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:54:27 GMT
Court documents indicate New York's Chinese mafia may be involved in prostitution at a Chittenden County spa. Tuesday morning, landlord Thomas Booska pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge. A tenantMore >>
A landlord has denied charges related to prostitution at an alleged sex spa in Williston. And court documents indicate New York's Chinese Mafia may be involved in prostitution in Vermont.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:13 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:13:18 GMT
A Hopkinton, New York man is behind bars, accused of promoting prostitution. Police say Monday, they searched 60-year-old Dean Lamphere's house and business -- Lamphere's General Trucking and Repair.More >>
A Hopkinton, N.Y., man is behind bars, accused of promoting prostitution.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:00 AM EDT2013-06-18 14:00:51 GMT
A New Haven man says he was trying to stop another man from cutting down his neighbor's trees, but police say firing shots wasn't the way to do it. Police say on Sunday, 72-year-old David Milson firedMore >>
A New Haven man says he was trying to stop another man from cutting down his neighbor's trees, but police say firing shots wasn't the way to do it.More >>