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.
Monday, December 9 2013 8:18 AM EST2013-12-09 13:18:48 GMT
Soldiers and families at the region's largest military base are getting some holiday cheer Monday morning. About 700 farm-grown Christmas trees will be delivered to the 10th Mountain Division headquartersMore >>
Soldiers and families at the region's largest military base are getting some holiday cheer Monday morning.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 8:01 AM EST2013-12-09 13:01:55 GMT
Police in Jericho are looking for the culprits behind vandalism at the elementary school. They say this weekend, four windows were damaged when rocks were thrown at them. Police say Saturday, three kidsMore >>
Police in Jericho are looking for the culprits behind vandalism at the elementary school.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 7:52 AM EST2013-12-09 12:52:05 GMT
This year's Gift of Life marathon is set for December 17, and organizers in Rutland have their sights set on knocking off the Manchester, New Hampshire's one-day record with 1,968 pints. Here with anMore >>
We have an update on the preparations for Rutland's big Gift of Life Marathon later this month.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:58 AM EST2013-12-09 10:58:56 GMT
An American singer with Vermont ties is making waves with her music halfway across the globe. Jennifer Grout has emerged as the unlikely singing sensation on the overseas reality show Arabs Got Talent. UnlikelyMore >>
An American singer with Vermont ties is making waves with her music halfway across the globe.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:51 AM EST2013-12-09 10:51:48 GMT
Usually the Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service is busy saving lives or responding to emergencies. But right now, members are selling Christmas trees to raise money for the finishing touches on theirMore >>
Many different groups sell Christmas trees this time of year to raise money for their organization. And for the third year, that includes an ambulance service.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:44 AM EST2013-12-09 10:44:43 GMT
Police say a Killington driver hit and killed a New Hamphire man. They say 26-year-old Kyle Wilson of Enfield went out for a walk overnight Saturday in Killington and never came back. Friends went outMore >>
Police say a Killington driver hit and killed a New Hamphire man.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 11:56 PM EST2013-12-09 04:56:59 GMT
An Enfield, New Hampshire man is dead. And a Killington driver has been charged in connection with the death. It happened Saturday night on the Killington Road. Police say 26-year-old Kyle Wilson wentMore >>
An Enfield, New Hampshire man is dead. And a Killington driver has been charged in connection with the death. More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:36 PM EST2013-12-09 03:36:50 GMT
A Burlington congregation made a short pilgrimage to it's new home Sunday. The Christ Presbyterian Church has leased property from the University of Vermont for the last 35 years. But UVM has decidedMore >>
The Christ Presbyterian Church has leased property from the University of Vermont for the last 35 years. But UVM has decided not to renew its lease.More >>