American Solar Direct Gives Injured Veteran the Gift of Solar


Just in time for the 4th of July, American Solar Direct installs a free solar system for a Southern California veteran. The veteran, seriously injured in Afghanistan, will benefit from electricity savings as he works toward an independent lifestyle.

Veterans and solar have been all over the news lately. Solar power, as we know, provides numerous benefits. And it’s especially well positioned to help veterans when it comes to both jobs and energy independence.

As we near the 4th of July, this use of solar seems especially fitting. What better way to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day than by helping veterans with solar power?

Solar provider American Solar Direct Inc. (ASD) is doing just that. The company announced today that it has donated a complete solar energy system at the home of Sgt. Odin Ayala, a wounded veteran in Southern California.

The donation arose from a chance encounter. An American Solar Direct 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 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 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 September 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 previously donated labor and supplies to build and landscape the home.

A natural extension of this was to add solar power. “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.”

“I am extremely grateful for this donation. I truly wish to thank all employees at American Solar Direct for my solar system,” Ayala said. “I am proud that I had the chance to serve my country. Now, my goal is to remain strong and keep pushing forward.”

Check out some great photos of Sgt. Ayala and the installation on the American Solar Direct Facebook page.