Allies: Panasonic HIT, KCBS, KSFO
Mark Creighton damaged the nerves in his arms while serving in the Army and was honorably discharged in 1979. In his 30s, he became legally blind and at age 55, Mark was placed into the Yountville Veterans Home. He felt his life wasting away and that he was too young to be placed in a home. So, Mark reached out to a volunteer, Marilu, to help find him a way out and finally after five years of multiple living arrangements, they were able to purchase a home. Semper Solaris is excited to help with the high cost of electric bills in their new home.
Veterans Day 2019 was reserved for Mark Creighton, an honorably discharged Army vet, who became legally blind in his 30s. Semper Solaris and Panasonic HIT partnered together with KCBS and KSFO to provide Creighton energy relieve through solar panels and a roof replacement. Our team of veterans was excited and proud to help a fellow veteran in need. “Mr. Creighton sacrificed so much for our country, and we’re humbled to have the opportunity to say thank you,” said Kelly Shawhan, Co-Owner of Semper Solaris. “As a former Marine Captain, I know how important trust is, and we’re honored that Mr. Creighton trusts us with the roof over his head.”
Allies: Panasonic HIT
Michael Gallardo is from Los Angeles. He gave up a baseball career to join the military because he felt as though it was a calling. That, and a sign. The sign, was 9/11, which is also his birthday. Serving in Iraq, Gallardo was severely injured when the Humvee in which he was riding, in a split second decision, intentionally ran over an IED to protect other soldiers on the ground. The ensuing explosion and vehicle damage led to serious injury to Sergeant Gallardo’s left leg. After months of attempts to save his lower left leg without success, Sergeant Gallardo was rendered a below-the-knee amputee. He was awarded a Purple Heart. We salute Sergeant Michael Gallardo for his bravery, selflessness, and dedication to the service of our country!
On the Fourth of July 2019, Semper Solaris and Panasonic HIT came together to honor Gallardo and his family with a brand new solar system for his home. What a great way to celebrate independence than by veterans coming together and giving energy independence to a fellow veteran. We are proud to say that Project Foxtrot was a success and that Gallardo will have many years of low electric bills.Thank you, Sergeant Michael Gallardo, for your bravery and dedication to the service of our country and your inspiration to keep pushing!
Allies: Panasonic HIT
Tony Ybarra, a native Bay Area resident, served as a Navy Corpsman through the entirety of the Korean War. After the Navy, he taught middle school and coached kids sports for over 35 years in Campbell. He is still well known by hundreds of former students. He has always supported environmental issues and renewable energy.
Alongside Panasonic HIT, Semper Solaris had the opportunity to honor the service of Tony Ybarra with Project Echo on Memorial Day 2019. Between both companies, Tony was provided with the labor and materials for a new solar system for his home. While there, Tony gave Semper Solaris workers a brief history of his service and his photography and showed them some of his handy work. All in all, Project Echo was a success and Tony will now have lower electric bills for years to come. Thank you for your service, Tony, and for letting us see your amazing photos and for letting us serve and support you.
Allies: Purple Hearts Home, Owens Corning, Sea Air Federal Credit Union
Project Delta was formulated to support Antonio Rangel and the repairs needed on his family’s home to remain safe and accessible. Rangel served as an Infantryman in the Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in 1954. He then returned to his hometown, where he has been an active member of the local American Legion and has volunteered to sponsor 17-year olds to go to Cal State Sacramento for a week. Rangel suffered from a stroke in both 2017 and 2018, now his three grandsons and daughter live with him and he says his daughter is his “right-hand man”.
Semper Solaris called on the help of Owens Corning and Purple Heart Homes to carry out Project Delta. On President's Day 2019, Semper Solaris had the honor to provide the labor and support to get the job done, while Purple Heart Homes also honored Antonio Rangel and his family by partnering with Sea Air Federal Credit Union and Owens Corning to complete the project.
Branch: Marine Corps
The third Semper Cares Initiative operation, Project Charlie, had the privilege to honor Paul Dugas on Veteran’s Day 2018. To find the deserving beneficiary for this operation, Semper Solaris requested nominations to learn more about the stories of the American men and women that are so deserving of our support and honor. After countless nominations, Paul Dugas, a former marine, was selected. Paul was nominated by his neighbor Dev Zaveri-Tabb, who is also a veteran. Dev shared Paul’s story with us — from his years of faithful service to his severe back injury to his fight with cancer, Paul always kept his perseverance and spirits high. It was an honor to meet Paul and stand alongside him through Project Charlie!
To make Project Charlie possible, Semper Solaris counted with the help of Panasonic to donate the panels and SolarEdge to provide the inverter and hardware, while Semper was happy to provide labor to install the hardware and logistic support for analysis and permitting. On Veterans Day 2018 the installation was complete and the solar system was turned on. Semper and Paul’s community were able to come together to honor him that day.
Branch: Marine Corps
Allies: Warrior Foundation, Freedom Station, Solar World, SolarEdge
Project Bravo was formulated to support former Marine Corps sniper, Povas Miknaitis. Miknaitis was wounded in Iraq by an IED, causing major damage to his head and face. Semper Solaris was introduced to Povas through the Warrior Foundation Freedom Station. WFFS operates a cutting-edge halfway house for wounded veterans, helping them reintegrate into the community.
Semper Solaris called for help and SolarWorld responded with a new 5Kw solar power system for his home and SolarEdge again stepped up with the inverter and hardware to complete the job. For the installation, Semper Solaris’ call to action was answered by fellow Devil Dog Jason Spear and his firm, Combined Energy. Jason and his crew, including former military as well, donated all the labor to install. Semper Solaris has contributed the logistic support (analysis and permitting) as well as all the installation hardware.
Allies: Habitat for Humanity, Owens Corning, Panasonic, SolarEdge
The Semper Cares Initiative was introduced to Carl through the efforts of Habitat For Humanity’s Veteran Programs. Carl served in the Navy for 12 years around the world as an Avionics Technician. After his discharge he returned to San Diego, where he met and married his wife, Jodi. Living in a residence owned by Jodi’s family for over 30 years, Carl recognized that the home was in desperate need of major repairs to the roof. Living on a fixed income from disability has made meeting their monthly bills harder and harder. The constant increases in electricity costs have hit their family especially hard.
Kelly Shawhan, co-owner of Semper Solaris used his contacts within the industry to bring Owens Corning alongside to assist Project Alpha by donating all the materials to replace the roof on the Schaffrina home. A brand-new roof carrying a 50 year manufacturers warranty will ensure the Schaffrina family has a solid roof for the rest of their lives. Panasonic, after hearing the story, agreed to donate a 5Kw solar power system for the Schaffrina home as well. SolarEdge has generously donated the inverter and associated hardware to complete the solar system. The employees of Semper Solaris, many former military, stepped up as well. Semper Solaris donated the logistic support (analysis and permitting) as well as all the installation personnel, labor and hardware. Carl and Jodi are humbled and appreciative of this support and look forward to no longer worrying about the rainy season and further increases in electricity prices. At the end of the project, Jodi commented, “I can’t wait to go to church on Sunday and tell them, you don’t have to pray for us any longer. We received our blessing.”