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Military Families and Veterans Initiative

Non-traditional allies with historical ties

The United States Military exists to defend out great Nation! We believe that includes our outdoors, our wild lands, our public lands and our clean water and air. In order to make your sacrifice worthwhile to our Nation, we owe it you, the United States Military Service Members, Military Families (including spouses and youth) and Veterans, our military veteran community, to ensure that you have clean air, clean water, and public lands to come home to! These are your veterans’ benefits as much as anything!

It is in our Mission Statement as the Sierra Club to Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Planet. You are already protecting it, so we want to ensure you can explore and enjoy it and have a voice in its protection from an environmental standpoint.

Being a member of The Sierra Club and the Armed Forces are certainly not mutually exclusive, rather they are mutually inclusive. Both organizations share a deep commitment to the ideals that make our Nation great: democracy and civic engagement! Sierra Club's founder and first president John Muir said, "Uncle Sam's soldiers were the most effective forest police," concerning the care that the U.S. Calvary showed in safeguarding Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks prior to the establishment of the National Park Service.

During World War II, Club leaders, including the legendary David Brower, responded to the need for an alpine fighting force by using the mountaineering and skiing skills they had developed with the Sierra Club to found and train the 10th Mountain Division -- a unit that has distinguished itself from the Dolomites of Italy to the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan.

Military leaders recognize the importance of energy security to global security and to our nation's future. Academic institutions, such as the U.S. Army War College, which has hosted Sierra Club leaders in the past, are instructing brigade-level commanders in the consequences of global warming and how to address those consequences. The Department of Defense is investing heavily in the development of clean, renewable energy technologies. Similarly, the Department of Defense is one of the largest employers of wildlife biologists in the federal government.

The U.S. Marine Corps, which manages tens of millions of acres of federal land, is among one of the most progressive federal agencies when it comes to developing solutions to aid the recovery of plants and animals listed under the Endangered Species Act. Solutions include helping conservation organizations and local governments purchase private lands around military installations to supply needed habitat.

The Sierra Club is proud to serve America's military and veteran community. The goal of the Military Families and Veterans Initiative is to ensure that our military and veteran community enjoy the freedoms of the land they defended.

We look forward to seeing you out on the trail!

For more information please contact OIF Veteran and Sierra Club Military Families and Veterans Representative, Stacy Bare at stacy.bare@sierraclub.org.

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