Horizon Solar Power (Horizon), a Sungevity company and premier designer and installer of residential and commercial solar systems, recently joined Homes For Our Troops to present a new solar-powered home to a local wounded Veteran. A privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Homes For Our Troops builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans. The homes restore some of the freedom and independence our Veterans sacrificed while defending our country, and enable them to focus on their family, recovery and rebuilding their lives. The project was completed in support of Horizon's Acts of Sunshine initiative, a corporate social responsibility program singularly dedicated to giving back to our communities through strategic partnerships with local businesses and nonprofit organizations. As part of the homebuilding project, Horizon installed a free solar energy system, providing Marine Corporal Christopher Van Etten and his wife immediate and long-term savings on their electricity bills while increasing the value of their new home. The Temecula, California home was formally presented to Corporal Van Etten on Sept. 30 as part of a community Key Ceremony.
In 2012, Marine Corporal Christopher Van Etten was on his second deployment serving as an Infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines in Sangin, Afghanistan. Near midnight on June 13, Corporal Van Etten and his unit were breaking down their observation post when a squad member was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED). While assisting with the evacuation and helping his comrade onto the helicopter, Corporal Van Etten stepped on another IED. The blast resulted in the loss of both of his legs. Christopher was able to make an impressive recovery and was released from the hospital just three weeks after his injury. Two months following his injury, he was walking on prosthetics.
"On behalf of everyone at Horizon Solar Power, it's an absolute honor to play a part in this incredible project. We're inspired by the tremendous sacrifices of our Veterans and grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the life of Corporal Van Etten," stated Brian Hobbs, Horizon's Chief Financial Officer. Frank Kneller, Horizon's Chief Executive Officer added, "Veterans such as Corporal Van Etten have given the ultimate sacrifice. We hope the building of this home, and others like it, provide the necessary awareness in our communities to promote long-term support to all Veterans."
Homes For Our Troops President & CEO Tom Landwermeyer stated, "This home serves as a catalyst for Corporal Van Etten to begin rebuilding his life. Horizon Solar Power's generous donation will greatly decrease utility costs, reducing financial strain for Christopher and his wife, so they can save more for their future. Homes For Our Troops is grateful for their support." Acknowledging the donation, Corporal Van Etten stated, "Thank you Horizon Solar Power! Not only for donating, but for also giving us peace of mind."