Fmr. Captain Jon Gensler
“Over the winter of 2007-2008, I helped lay to rest two men—both West Point friends and classmates—who had been killed by advanced roadside bombs in Iraq. These bombs were of the type that had been designed, financed, and deployed using oil money, therefore tying my friends’ deaths directly to the global petroleum trade and the cash that American demand for oil funnels to our worst enemies.
“Harnessing that emotional experience, I began to study in earnest the underpinnings of energy security, climate change, and the interconnectedness between the two. In that process, I came to immediately see how our dependence on fossil fuels puts our troops at risk—and breaking this dependence is one of the most important national security tasks we have in front of us as a nation.
“Operation Free has given me an outlet to highlight the risks inherent in our current approach, speak candidly to the American people about the need to evolve our way of generating and using energy, and work with policymakers in the government to see that evolution begin. My fellow veterans and I have a powerful and important message to share, but only so much time to avoid the worst consequences of continued inaction.
My core purpose is to help our nation carve a path forward so we can effectively deal with the threats posed by climate change and fossil fuel reliance, ultimately helping maintain our sense of place, our values, and our heritage for generations to come.”
“The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of of Defense or the United States government.”