SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diego veterans on Thursday pushed to end the Miramar Air Show, even though the big event does not take flight until September.
The veterans group said it has a five-year plan to bring the Miramar Air Show to a halt, and the group is appealing to the public to stay home.
A spokesman for MCAS Miramar said the popular air show allows the military to thank the public for its support and allows the San Diego community to come on base for the once-a-year event.
As one of the most anticipated and highly-attended events in San Diego County, the Miramar Air Show draws roughly half-a-million spectators, including children.
For many families, it is an annual tradition.
The local veterans group, Veterans for Peace, wants to ground the show completely claiming that behind the pageantry in the sky there is a far more disturbing motive.
"It feels really good. [It] appeals to your senses, makes your feel patriotic and all that, but in the end it's really about selling war," said Dave Aptterson.
Marine Corps veteran Jim Brown is a Purple Heart recipient and said, "I am a combat veteran. I served my country and I say they air show is wrong,"
Critics also contend shows like the Miramar Air Show unnecessarily places highly-trained officers in harm's way - claiming ten-percent of Blue Angels pilots have been killed. The most recent happened this past June in Tennessee.
"Really? We're going to ask them to risk their lives to entertain us? That's not right," said Aptterson.
In response to Thursday's protest, a spokesman for MCAS Miramar said they support the right of all Americans to exercise their right to free speech.
The spokesman also said the air show allows San Diegans to interact with marines and sailors - to get to know them as individuals and to understand t heir desire to serve.
GoPro was used to shoot some of the footage in this video.