In my 22 years serving in the North Dakota National Guard and while serving as state representative, I have seen firsthand the tireless dedication of our servicemembers to our country. Earlier this month, we honored the service of our brave men and women. But we also must remember that our support of veterans doesn’t end with that day. In fact, some of the most important work we can do is to help these heroes find meaningful careers as they transition into civilian life.

Several industries are critical to these efforts, including one North Dakota industry that has stood out. Many veterans have found a fulfilling career in North Dakota’s wind industry, and that’s no coincidence.

North Dakotans are proud of our energy leadership, and in recent years we’ve expanded that role to include wind energy. While wind supports thousands of jobs in our state, what you might not know is that veterans help fill these positions faster than most. The wind industry as a whole has hired service men and women at a rate 61% higher than the average U.S industry.

These careers and their focus on the importance of teamwork in a nontraditional environments offer a unique appeal for veterans. Similarly, veterans' knowledge of machinery, an outstanding work ethic, and dedication make them strong applicants for wind technician careers.

There are several reasons why wind energy has been a benefit to our state, but the opportunities that it is providing to veterans is hard to match. Remember, just as veterans are always there to protect us, we must answer the call for them once they return home. Their continued service now includes providing reliable energy to our communities.

Rep. Brandenburg, R-Edgeley, represents North Dakota House District 28.

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