Steve Curwood and Jeff Young, April 16, 2010--Excerpt. Audio here.
YOUNG: Other veterans are coming home with strong views about the energy we use and the wars we wage.
[SOUNDS OF CONSTRUCTION: DRILLS]
YOUNG: Workers with the company Nexamp install solar panels on a rooftop in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Company president and co-founder Dan Leary looks on.
LEARY: We only put you on the steepest roofs.
YOUNG: It's a far cry from Dan Leary's last job—he was an Army captain stationed in Kuwait. Leary says what he saw in the desert left him determined to start a clean energy company back home.
LEARY: Nexamp is a full service clean energy integration company and we do everything from construction to life cycle maintenance of these systems and what we're specifically building a lot of these days is solar electric and solar hot water systems. We're building wind turbines. We're building a lot of geothermal systems. We're doing energy efficient lighting systems. Also, combined heat and power systems.
YOUNG: Do you feel like you came back from the war especially fired up about clean energy?
LEARY: I was. I was. And I think it's important for our generation to get on top of this because I think anything that we can do to bring better security to our nation is less task that frankly our children and our grandchildren are going to have to deal with. Energy and water and a whole number of things that lead ultimately back to we just have to have more sustainable practices as a society.
YOUNG: Do you get a sense that your fellow veterans have had a kind of awakening about energy issues?
LEARY: I think that we all have. I think that veterans have been able to see it firsthand, what is sustainable and what's not sustainable. As soon as you've seen a massive desalinization plant running on oil that has to be pumped from thousands of feet below the ground to sustain large populations you understand just how fragile the whole system is. And think that's what veterans certainly understand firsthand and the more that we can generate onsite it does things that more than just national security, it's really just the right thing to do.
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