Memorial Day weekend is upon us, a time to honor those who have fought and died to protect the freedoms we hold dear in America. As a veteran having served 30 years in the United States Air Force (USAF), for me this is a time to reflect and to spend time enjoying those freedoms with friends and family. Maybe share a burger, a beer and a laugh with those I love.
On my way to see those friends and family, I pass by the wind farms that are helping to power the future of our state. Many may not know it, but when you see a wind or solar farm in Texas that is generating clean energy, it’s likely that you have a veteran to thank for it. Veterans are working throughout the renewables industry, especially right here in Texas.
As the Operations and Maintenance Manager at Miami Wind Farm, where innovation is happening every day, I not only have the privilege of working alongside fellow veteran colleagues, but I also take great pride contributing to powering our state with clean, homegrown energy.
After completing my military service, I had to figure out the next step in my career. With my training and technical expertise in aviation maintenance, I found that working in the renewables industry was a natural and rewarding fit. It’s a fast-growing industry with promising careers, and the values and training I received from the military made it an easy transition. In the USAF, you are part of an overarching family with core values such as integrity, hard work, ‘service before self,’ attention to detail, and planning with the end in mind—all of which play an important role in taking on the complex and extensive work needed to successfully operate a wind project.
I found that there were programs specifically dedicated to training veterans for the jobs of tomorrow and that veterans are hired at a 61% higher rate than the national average in the renewables industry. I’ve also had the privilege of recruiting former military personnel for jobs in the field. I’m proud to be able to work in an industry where I can build something that lasts, and where there’s ample opportunity to advance and grow.
So, if you pass a turbine on your way to the family cookout this weekend to honor our American heroes, remember that you can thank a veteran for leading the way to our state and country’s energy future.