As we mark Veterans Day this week across the United States, we want to take a moment to share some of the unique stories of our team members who have bravely fought to protect our freedom and our country.
Supporting members of our military is an important responsibility that we take seriously year-round. More than 15 percent of our operations team are veterans and more than 10 percent of the entire Iberdrola Renewables workforce served in the military to date. Several of our team members were away from their homes, jobs and families as they actively served our country this year. In addition to their military service, we have long valued the skills and experience that these brave men and women bring to the workforce.
Meet Niaomi Thibodeau, Wind Plant Administrator, Klondike Wind Farm and Aviation Maintenance Administration Petty Officer 2nd class, U.S. Navy
While serving the U.S. Navy for more than seven years, Niaomi Thibodeau gathered many new skills. However, one in particular stands out in her current role as she helps oversee operations for the Klondike 1, 2 and 3 wind farms. Serving tours in Japan, Bahrain, Ecuador and Whidbey Island, Washington, as an aviation maintenance administration petty officer 2nd class, Niaomi learned how to thrive in her role and responsibility, no matter her surroundings.
“The military prepared me by providing me the discipline and the skills I need to be a successful employee, no matter where I am employed,” she explains. Those skills come in handy as she moves between turbines across Sherman County, Oregon. Beyond professional skills, Niaomi shares that one of the greatest assets she took from her service was the new family she gained.
“I wish more people understood the camaraderie that we have with our fellow service members,” she says. “Our fellow marines, sailors and airmen become like our family because we are all experiencing the same situations while we are all missing our families. We sacrifice a lot to serve our country so our military family becomes our true family with lasting relationships even long after our service has ended.”
Niaomi is grateful to Iberdrola Renewables for the company’s commitment to hiring and honoring veterans all year. While extremely proud of her own service to her country, Niaomi sees her contribution as one link in a very long chain of dedication.
“I am and always will be proud to be classified as a veteran alongside those who have served before me and those who will serve after me.”
Meet Larry Wilson, Plant Manager, Shiloh 1 and Chief Machinist Mate, U.S. Navy
For more than eight years, Larry Wilson toured the Middle East, the Mediterranean Sea and areas of South America while onboard the USS Carl Vinson. A chief machinist mate (nuclear), Larry says his decision to enlist was motivated by a very fundamental principle.
“There is no amount of money that would convince a sane person to leave their family and run into harm’s way with the very real threat of never coming home,” he says. “That means we all have motivations beyond the material that we internalize. For many of us it is patriotism; for others it’s a sense of duty to help protect our loved ones and fellow citizens. For me it was worth it when I came home from places in chaos, governed by oppression, filled with unimaginable pain and uncertainty. When I stepped off that ship I saw the opposite here and I knew I had played a small but important role in ensuring it stayed that way.”
The technical skills acquired while serving in the Navy were invaluable as Larry transitioned to a civilian position. But he adds that his service helped him learn several crucial soft skills as well, such as the drive to overcome obstacles, critical thinking, leadership, humility and the ability to look at every challenge as an opportunity.
“It is sometimes difficult for a transitioning veteran to translate their military experience into a civilian context,” he adds. “Iberdrola Renewables has gone out of their way to reach out to other veterans within the company to help share the value of the veteran’s experience. They have a strong commitment toward helping our veterans find a career within our company, which is a very genuine form of appreciation.”
For Larry, Veterans Day is a vital opportunity to salute the millions of people who have served our country with honor.
“It’s a time to reflect on the sacrifice and patriotism our veterans embrace every day. They find courage and strength to stand up when called to aid their country in the face of unknown dangers and hardships. Those qualities that we value in our service members are the finest things in humanity: honor, courage, loyalty and sacrifice. I think it is important that we take time to recognize that.”
Thank You for Your Service
From the entire Iberdrola Renewables team, we share our gratitude for the sacrifices made by Niaomi and Larry, by all of our employees who have served our country and by all veterans of the United States military. Thank you for protecting our nation and thank you for your service.