On this Veterans Day, November 11, 2012, we are asked to take a moment to remember and appreciate the sacrifices of the men and women of our state and our nation who have served in the U.S. military, defending the freedoms and opportunities we all enjoy today. Those of us who have recently lost a family member who served in the military are reminded why the men and women of every war should be remembered and heard. We are now the survivors who are left to tell their story.
Honors and appreciation are due especially to the men and women who served in World War II. Only an estimated 16,000 of the 276,131 Iowa veterans of World War II remain. More than 2,000 are projected to die each year--or more than seven every day. The rapidly declining number of WWII vets who are left are advancing in age. Most are now in their late 80s to 100 years old. If you have a relative, friend or neighbor who is a veteran—no matter what their age--give them a call, ask them how they are doing and listen to what they have to say. Tell them thanks for their service. If you can, make the effort to go visit them, especially the older veterans who are now living in retirement communities and nursing homes.
IRFA salutes those who served in the armed forces and are working in the renewable fuels industry today
In a special tribute, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association last week thanked military veterans who are now working in Iowa's ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable fuel industries for their efforts in decreasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil and advancing America's energy security. IRFA has produced a video which helps tell the story of these veterans.
"On Veterans Day our organization wants to thank all service men and women for protecting this country. In the video we've highlighted a few of the veterans who are now working to advance our nation's energy independence," says IRFA executive director Monte Shaw. "It is clear from the interviews that veterans who are working to produce American-made fuels here in Iowa believe their jobs today are another way to serve their country by decreasing our nation's dependence on foreign oil."
IRFA sponsored the web video featuring some of the veterans involved in renewable fuels production in Iowa, says Shaw. IRFA undertook this project to thank them as military veterans for their service to their country and to highlight their views on renewable fuels and energy security.
Veterans participating in the web video include: Bill Horan (Western Iowa Energy), Daniel Baker (Golden Grain Energy), Daryl Haack (Little Sioux Corn Processors), Grant Gemberling (Plymouth Energy), Jarrod Patterson (Golden Grain Energy), Jeremy Schmidt (Golden Grain Energy), Matt Dutka (Golden Grain Energy), and Michael Wood (Plymouth Energy).
With the number of its biodiesel and ethanol facilities, Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production, says Shaw. Iowa has 13 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce 320 million gallons annually. In addition, Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries capable of producing nearly 3.7 billion gallons annually and one new facility under construction. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state's liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the ethanol and biodiesel industries in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website.