Fmr. PO1 Shawn Van Diver
Throughout my 12 years in the U.S. Navy, I made the dreaded Strait of Hormuz transit many times. I distinctly recall hours of standing outside in the heat in a 30-year-old flak jacket and helmet, manning my 25mm cannon or .50 caliber machine gun mount as we made the trip from the Gulf of Oman to the Persian Gulf.
40% of the world’s oil traded by sea makes that same harrowing trip, and the military’s job is to secure it against everyone ranging from hostile states to terrorist groups and pirates. For decades, America’s economy, way of life, and defense has depended on the safe passage of that oil–despite the direct threat it poses to our men and women in uniform.
My time protecting a commodity that weakens our national security and threatens the safety of our service members is over. I joined Operation Free because I know there are safer sources of energy that will strengthen our military’s mission capability, advance America’s economy, and create good-paying jobs for our veterans when they return home.
I don’t believe there is a more well-suited community to share this powerful and important message. As an advocate for Operation Free, I will continue my service to this great country by using my voice and experience to promote a better energy future.
Views expressed are his own.