To the Editor:
There is an unforgettable photo of F-16s from the Vermont Air National Guard over New York City in the hours after the attacks of September 11, a source of great pride for our Green Mountain Boys forever ensconced in a time of national tragedy.
On that day, our nation was under attack and the threat was unknown. But the brave men and women of the 158th Fighter Wing did not hesitate for a millisecond to put in place all that they had trained and prepared for. And in those days after the Twin Towers fell, when the skies were void of airline traffic, the only sound we did hear was the F-16s coming and going from their patrols over the east coast. It was a sound that made us feel safe, a sound that confirmed for us we were being protected, it is the sound of our freedom.
A few years after the attacks, David Zuckerman stood on the steps of Burlington City Hall during an anti F-35 rally and effectively said that our Vermont Air National Guard did nothing to protect us on 9/11.
The lieutenant governor should be someone who, at a moment’s notice, could be called upon to take over the role of governor if the need should arise and possibly make grave decisions regarding the safety of Vermonters. We need a lieutenant governor with an unparalleled temperament and a strong trust of our brave men and women of the Vermont National Guard. At this rally, Mr. Zuckerman clearly demonstrated that he has neither the temperament to serve in this role, nor the trust of our servicemen and women.
Thankfully, we have a candidate for lieutenant governor who does support our National Guard. Throughout his entire career in public service, Don Turner has been a strong advocate for our active-duty service members and veterans. As a first responder himself, Don understands the meaning of sacrifice and service. He was a supporter of the effort to eliminate tuition costs for National Guard members attending Vermont state colleges and has been a longtime advocate for the F-35.
I ask you to join me in standing up for our service members and our veterans by voting for Don Turner for lieutenant governor.