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Friday, October 16, 2009

Iraq war veteran from Wis. hits road for clean energy

From an article by Larry Bivins in the Marshfield News Herald:

WASHINGTON -- As a member of the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division's main support battalion in 2003, Robin Eckstein hauled fuel and water for the military in Iraq.

Through that experience, she said, she began to think about how dangerously dependent America was on foreign oil and the need for an alternative energy source.

"I ran missions every day, if not twice a day," Eckstein said. "It was just apparent that having only one source of energy to refuel our trucks was a problem because it meant more runs, and that meant more risks."

For Eckstein, a policy addressing clean energy and climate change became a national security issue, just as it has for scores of other current and former military personnel. But that's not the only reason the 32-year-old Appleton native is on the road in support of energy policy legislation Congress is considering.

Eckstein also is jobless and says she believes the bill the House has passed and a Senate bill would create jobs.

"We have the manufacturing base in Wisconsin," she said, "where I think we could really use these clean-energy jobs."

Last weekend, Eckstein was in Washington to help make a commercial for Operation FREE, a coalition of veterans and national security organizations, on climate change and national security.

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