The Few, the Proud, the Green

As the daughter of a Vietnam-era Marine, I probably learned “Halls of Montezuma” before I learned the national anthem. Pride in the Marine Corps was fundamental to my dad and he worked hard to pass it on to his kids. We dressed up in his old uniforms and learned to march, salute and repeat Marine slang outside earshot of my mother. It worked, but only so far. I went to Bryn Mawr, which is about as far as you can get culturally from Annapolis, Dad’s preference. Yet that core pride in the toughest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces came rushing back this weekend as I read Thomas Friedman’s latest New York Times column, about the greening of the Marines.

According to a recent study based on 2007 data, Friedman reports, the military loses a person, wounded or killed, for every 24 fuel convoys it runs in Afghanistan. The cost of delivering fuel may be as high as $400 per gallon by the time it gets to remote U.S. troops in the Middle East, not counting the cost of our soldiers’ lives. So the Navy and Marines are spearheading efforts to replace fossil fuel deliveries with on-site renewables that will save money and lives.

Running our generators on solar and our trucks on next generation biodiesel has another great side effect: it gets us out of the deadly and endless fight for oil. No Marine’s family could object to that.

All I can say is: OORAH.

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