On this Veterans Day, keep in mind "the very alarming and embarrassing employment rates for combat vets," urges Ian Thomson, the founder of CleanTechies and a board member of Grid Alternatives. Thomson is a Marine Corps veteran and a member of the board of directors of the Marines’ Memorial Association.
Grid Alternatives is working with Swords to Plowshares this Veterans Day to provide hands-on solar training to 10 veterans seeking a new career in solar power. You can show your support for veterans and for solar by going to this non-profit website and contributing what you can.
Veterans in the Swords to Plowshares Green Job Training program will install a solar electric system on the home of a low-income family in San Francisco’s Bayview district. Grid Alternatives works to get solar on the homes of low-income households.
Thomson reminds us that "these are great, employable people" with "small-unit leadership [experience] and dependability." He notes that the unemployment rates for combat and artillery veterans is three or four times that of others in their age brackets. Donate to the cause here.
Former U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, now Chairman of Emergya Wind Technologies Americas, recently endorsed legislation to extend wind’s federal tax incentive. In this video, Clark says: "In so many ways, these veteran’s lives have been personally affected by our dependence on foreign oil.”
“Who better to help us get those wind farms up and running, install those turbines, than physically fit, capable, motivated veterans?” Clark added, speaking about the good jobs wind energy provides for returning veterans. “My son is a veteran and he has worked on wind projects. I know; I’ve been out there. I’ve been with him and there is something really special about [...] putting up those big turbines. You’ve got the camaraderie and the sense of commitment and the risk -- the need for safety and other precautions around this heavy equipment. It has a very, very familiar feel to most vets.”
“This is a great opportunity for veterans to put their engineering and mechanical skills, their self-discipline and their physical fitness to work, and to help American society, as well.”