Vets Support (and install) Clean Energy

America's vets are raising their collective voices in support of the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Pointing to the national security benefits of reducing America's reliance on dangerous foreign oil, VoteVets has been mobilizing its members in support of the bill.

NRDC has talked with vets who are also working - full-time - on America's shift to clean energy. Last year, our own OnEarth magazine featured a few good men and women working to help vets transition into green jobs upon their return from service overseas, a project that has evolved into, a non-profit organization dedicated to "skill development, education and employment opportunities in emerging Green Industries for transitioning military veterans."

More recently, we met a vet who came back from Iraq and is now installing solar power systems in Texas. David McCaulley's interest in the environment stemmed from growing up with his environmentally conscious father who, during their camping trips, would frequently remind David about the dangers of leaving

a negative impact on the planet. Of today's advancements in renewable energy and reducing dependence on foreign oil, David says his father "would be very pleased with what he sees."

As a Naval Reservist who was deployed to Iraq in 2007, David has a unique vantage point when it comes to America's need to cut dependence on foreign oil.

He has also collected clean energy-related stories and experiences from his time abroad:

Prior to my deployment, I went to Germany and I saw solar panels there and I got to see how their system is much more advanced than America's. No tthe technology-that is the same, but the government and municipalities there are using... solar power a lot better than we are. Where there used to be cows, there are now solar panels. Maybe at some point we could be at the same place.

David hopes for his five children to grow up in a country where "we're self-reliant and not dependent on foreign energy sources." He sees the potential for growth "because there are a lot of different areas-a lot of potential for kids coming out of school in the side of engineering... we need people experienced in electricity, plumbing for solar thermal jobs, marketing and sales.... Those are five areas right there with opportunity directly related to solar energy."

Like most employees whose work is good for the environment and the economy, David is "proud to be a part of this and I enjoy what I do from the beginning to the end."