Special to the Village News
Unsure of plans after high school, a young Erik Galvan felt the military was a fantastic opportunity to see the world. Inspired by his big brother, a Marine, he joined the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines as an Infantryman. March 2011 was the initiation date for Lance Corporal Erik Galvan, at just 19 years old, to set out on his first deployment to Afghanistan.
June 15, 2011, would bring the ultimate sacrifice when Galvan was on a patrol and lost both his legs and half of his right arm when an improvised explosive device (IED) was set off. All Galvan remembers from the incident is his body going numb, rolling over and feeling like going to sleep.
Retiring in 2013, Galvan moved to Oceanside and while driving around the area to help lull his son to sleep discovered Fallbrook and he and his wife, Kaitlyn, fell in love with our “Friendly Village.”
In the meantime, Galvan would earn his Master’s degree in social work at the University of Southern California, while Kaitlyn studied nursing at California State University, San Marcos and now works as a registered nurse at a local hospital.
Today, Galvan is a proud stay-at-home dad and is involved with Wishes for Warriors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping combat-injured veterans experience therapeutic outdoor activities.
Thanks to Homes For Our Troops, the Galvan’s specially adapted custom home gives Erik, a foodie who loves to cook, the ability to be self-sufficient in a wheelchair with drop-down cabinets, customized low countertops, a roll-under stove and many other ADA amenities compliments of HFOT and Fallbrook’s own Youngren Construction team.
The Galvan’s said HFOT is a blessing and they are grateful to HFOT’s donors and supporters. They look forward to raising their son and becoming active members of their community in the comfort of their forever home. Galvan said, “Thank you for your support to our veterans as they rebuild their lives and return to a sense of normality. Without your dedication and donations, none of this would be possible.”
We as a community are the ones that owe him a nod of thanks. For more information on Homes For Our Troops, visit https://www.hfotusa.org/.
To see a video about the building of the house, go to https://youtu.be/hMn-PV7OFbQ.
Village News/Ron Cole and Jeffrey Fortuna photos