Dressed in green and with green ribbons, hundreds showed up to a rally for the F-35 and the Vermont Air Guard.
"First and foremost we're here to say thank you to the men and women of the National Guard for everything they do for us," said Nicole Citro, with the group Green Ribbons for the F-35.
It's the first big gathering of supporters, who say the effort is to prove their size, compared to those opposing the jets who have staged protests outside the state house in the past.
"We haven't really had an opportunity to all come together because we're not going to go protest were not going to march on a senators office so here's our opportunity to all come together and show our support at the same time," Citro said.
Also in attendance -- Adjutant General-elect Steven Cray. It's his first official public appearance since being voted to the position last week. "We're part of the community -- this is a community event. I think it's very important to tell the community how much we appreciate their support, Gen. Cray said. He added that the F-35s are a crucial addition to the Vermont Guard.
But others, like James Leas, an outspoken critic of bringing the jets to the base and a failed candidate for adjutant general, said the guard should focus on the mission at home. "What we want is for the Air Guard to have the equipment to help Vermont when we have another hurricane Irene or worse, because global warming is intensifying," Leas said.
Leas said the noise of the jets is detrimental to thousands who live near the airstrip and wish the jets are stationed elsewhere.
But Gen. Cray said picking a mission for the guard isn't so simple. "I know from my previous experience working at the Pentagon, there's not a menu of options for us to choose from," he said.
Gen. Cray said though he has seen bases transition to cyber or drone style missions, those always result in a scaled back work force.
Saturday, May 25 2013 10:30 PM EDT2013-05-26 02:30:05 GMT
A burglary at the Dorset Union Store. Police say the Church Street business, in Dorset, was broken into sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning. At this time, we do not know what was stolen.More >>
Police search for a suspect that left his blood at the crime scene.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 8:13 PM EDT2013-05-26 00:13:06 GMT
Governor Peter Shumlin is urging Vermonters to be vigilant as the rain continues to come down. Especially, he says, with the possibility of wet snow that could bring down trees and damage property. ShumlinMore >>
Governor Peter Shumlin is urging Vermonters to stay safe as the rain continues to come down.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 8:09 PM EDT2013-05-26 00:09:12 GMT
First responders scrambled to drain a private dam Saturday afternoon to avert major damage. Officials say the dam on Poker Hill road in Underhill nearly burst Saturday afternoon. Members of the localMore >>
First responders scrambled to drain a private dam Saturday afternoon to avert major damage.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:58 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:58:16 GMT
Rain-battered state roads in the hardest hit areas of Underhill and Jericho are re-open to traffic, but that doesn't mean the work is done for crews. "It's been a very challenging two-day event here soMore >>
As the rain continues to pour down, response crews are not getting a break.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:51 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:51:37 GMT
Driving along Route 15, you may notice some roads have reopened as crews guide drivers cautiously around the cracked gravel. But driving down roads like North Underhill Station, you won't get very far. ConnerMore >>
While needed repairs are being made, more work is ahead.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:30:10 GMT
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.State Police say Route 5 in Derby Line is closed near Caswell Avenue because of a hole in the pavement just a couple of feet over the lineMore >>
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:17:06 GMT
It was a storm that left residents with more damage than they could have ever imagined. "The basement has about 13 inches of water," said Bob Genter of Underhill. And preparing for the aftermath of theMore >>
Flash floods left destruction across the region. And the rain is not over. Heavy downpours left some people trapped in their neighborhoods as emergency crews work to try to clear the roads.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:20:50 GMT
As the cleanup gets underway from Thursday night's flash flooding, the focus shifts now to the broader impacts of rising rivers from around the region. All the rain so far and more to come is running intoMore >>
All the rain is running into larger streams and rivers that are moving rapidly toward flood stage.More >>