American Solar Direct Inc. (ASD) unveiled that it has donated a complete solar energy system at the home of Sgt. Odin Ayala, a wounded veteran in Southern California who touched the hearts of ASD employees.
The donation arose from a chance encounter. An ASD sales consultant selling solar in a residential El Cajon neighborhood came across the Army veteran’s home. When the sales consultant returned to his office and shared Ayala’s war story, employees throughout ASD and upper management soon rallied to contribute to the cause by donating their time and specialized skills and talents.
“Sgt. Ayala is a brave and honorable person who paid dearly to defend the United States of America. The least we can do is to help protect him from rising energy costs,” said Brennan Mulcahy, ASD’s Chief Executive Officer. “This one came from the heart and soul of our employees. They were all touched by his incredibly positive outlook on life. It is only fitting we are able to install a free solar system for him right before the Fourth of July.”
Ayala was on his third deployment to Afghanistan when on Sept. 14, 2011, he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast caused him to lose both legs above the knee and the index finger on his left hand. Ayala underwent years of treatment and rehabilitation in a quest for an independent lifestyle. A few months ago, Ayala was given the keys to a specially built home through Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit organization building and donating new homes to the most severely injured veterans since 9/11. Several companies had earlier donated labor and supplies to build and landscape the home.
“I am extremely grateful for this donation. I truly wish to thank all employees at American Solar Direct for my solar system,” Ayala said.
“American Solar Direct recognized we had a chance to offer another lasting contribution—the opportunity to reduce his energy costs,” said ASD’s Chief Operational Officer Andrew Schneider who attended today’s installation. “By reducing a significant household expense, we’re hopeful this will help contribute to Sgt. Ayala’s goals to further his education and lead the lifestyle he desires.”