Construction on Brian Haas’ new home is still underway, but the U.S. Army veteran welcomed a yard full of guests to the property today.
Elected officials, business leaders and volunteers were there to celebrate the installation of a rooftop solar system on Haas’ new three-bedroom house, built by Purcellville nonprofit HeroHomes. The organization is dedicated to “building houses, jobs, and community for those who have fought for the preservation of freedom and democracy for others.”
Today’s event showcased the solar system that was made possible through donations from GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic and Standard Solar. The solar system will save Haas and his wife $1,000 each year on their electricity bills.
The idea of retrofitting a HeroHomes house with solar started with a conversation between former Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro and Jason Brownell, founder of HeroHomes. Lazaro asked Brownell if he’d ever thought about adding a solar to any of the organization’s homes.
“I said, ‘that’s a great idea but our budget is zero.’ Two days later, we had a fully donated system,” Brownell said at the event today. “That’s how everything has worked with this house.”
He thanked the hard-working volunteers, a long list of local companies who donated materials, and community members who attended one of the several HeroHomes fundraiser to help make their vision a reality.
Haas flew as a helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army, earning his Master Wings. In 2013, due to a hard landing, he suffered a severe back injury, requiring treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the past two and a half years.
The veteran showed his gratitude for those who helped make the home possible and to the Purcellville community for welcoming and supporting him and his family. “Thank you, thank you. Thank you to everyone here.”
He commended several active military personnel who were on site today helping to install the panels. “It’s about these guys now,” Haas said. “They’re taking the torch and running with it.”