This Veterans Day AWEA is celebrating by launching a campaign to honor our Veterans.
The U.S. wind industry proudly hires veterans at a rate 72 percent higher than the national average, and the skills, teamwork and dedication they acquire while serving are perfect fits for wind work. Last week, we visited wind projects in Texas and Illinois to meet some of our veterans and thank them for their service.
Matt Buck – U.S. Navy Veteran
Before becoming a wind technician, U.S. Navy Veteran Matt Buck was an E-4 Air Traffic Controller. Buck did one tour to the Gulf of Oman on the Theodore Roosevelt Air Craft Carrier before spending two years in the reserves.
After the Navy, Buck worked odd jobs, eventually finding construction work in the Bishop Hill area of Illinois. When Invenergy’s Bishop Hill Wind Farm came to town, he applied for job.
Buck has worked as a wind technician at the Bishop Hill Wind Farm for the past six and half years. He says it’s the leadership skills and work ethic that he learned in the Navy that have helped him to excel.
Jeff Potter – U.S. Army Veteran
Before working in the wind industry, Jeff Potter served four years as a Corporal in the U.S. Army. He has been stationed at Ft. Stewart in Georgia and in Vilseck, Germany. He has also been deployed to Haiti and Bosnia.
Since leaving the Army, Potter has worked in the wind industry for 11 years. Potter is an Operations & Maintenance Technician at the Camp Springs Wind Farm in Snyder, Texas.
Zack Snyder – U.S. Army Veteran
Zack Snyder first saw wind turbines while stationed in Germany. During his four years in the Army, Snyder was also stationed in Israel and at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.
Snyder learned more about wind energy at a job fair back at Fort Leonard Wood, but didn’t get into the industry right away. After briefly working maintenance at a local hospital, Snyder went to a wind energy training program before getting a job at the Bishop Hill Wind Farm as a wind technician.
Snyder has worked at Bishop Hill for four years. For him, wind is shaping up to be a rewarding long-term career. He thinks veterans are drawn to the career because of the mix of adrenaline and physical labor. He wants to climb the towers for as long as he can, but eventually sees himself work in management.
It’s clear that these veterans are a great fit for wind-powered careers. They bring value, experience and integrity to the job. On this Veterans Day we thank them for their service to our country.
Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service!