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Written by Jared Starkweather   
Friday, 12 July 2013 13:49

July 11, 2013


Iowa Flag Officer advocated for energy policies that will strengthen national security

MASON CITY, IOWA – Retired Army Major General Gary Wattnem today returned to Iowa after meeting with Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin about important energy policies that have stalled in Washington, DC.

Wattnam, a Mason City resident, was sent to DC by an organization called Vets4Energy, which is a group of distinguished retired veterans who push lawmakers to enact policies that would reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil and increase national security.

Armed with decades of experience in national defense, Wattnam engaged both Senators in conversations related to the Keystone XL pipeline and the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Vets4Energy strongly supports the Keystone XL pipeline because it would contribute to U.S. energy independence by transporting desperately needed domestic and Canadian oil to American refineries.

The State Department has conducted four separate environmental impact assessments that repeatedly conclude that the pipeline would not have significant impacts on the environment. Despite the overwhelming public support for the pipeline, its final approval has been put on hold.

Wattnem’s visit to Capitol Hill was the second year in a row that Vets4Energy flew in veterans from across the country to meet with members of Congress. Volunteers with Vets4Energy will continue to engage veterans in the 26 states it represents and ask that they too send the message to lawmakers that energy independence is key to national security.

About Ret. Major General Gary Wattnem

Wattnem served a tour of duty at the Eastern Area Military Traffic Management and Terminal Service in Brooklyn, N.Y. During 1970 and 1971 he served in Vietnam with the 71st Transportation Battalion at Long Binh, Republic of Vietnam.


He entered the Active Reserve in November of 1971. His assignments included Company Commander of the 404th Signal Company in Waterloo, Iowa, and Signal Officer of the 394th Ammo Battalion in Ames, Iowa.  He then was assigned to the 103rd COSCOM at Fort Des Moines where he served in a number of assignments including Battalion Commander.  He was then selected as Commander of the 56th Material Management Center at Fort Snelling, Minn.

In September of 1993, he became the Chief of Staff of the 19th Theater Army Area Command in Des Moines, Iowa. In August of 1996, he assumed command of the 3rd Corps Support Command in Des Moines. He was selected as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics at the Pentagon in 1999.  He retired in 2004.

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