SARASOTA, Fla. - Florida Power & Light partnered with the Denis V. Cooper Foundation's "Wishes for Heroes" to help make a Sarasota veteran's Christmas extra meaningful by surprising him with his home decorated for the holiday season.
It was an emotional moment for U.S. Navy veteran Rob Kehs as he pulled up to his home to find it fully decked out in Christmas lights and decorations.
"It was definitely overwhelming. I got a little teary-eyed, a little bit knowing that this was for me," Kehs said.
It was all for him to honor his non-profit work in the community and his service in the U.S. Navy, where he served as a jet engine mechanic. Since 2018, he's been the president of SRQ Veterans, which is an all-veteran, all-volunteer organization that connects veterans with local services.
"He don't ever ask for anything he wants. He helps the community he's, part of SRQ veterans and he just does a lot for the community, so we decided it's time for the community to do something for him," said Bob Morrison, a board member with Denis V. Cooper Foundation "Wishes for Heroes."
That's why Florida Power & Light partnered with the Denis V. Cooper Foundation "Wishes for Heroes" as part of their 16th annual holiday program where each year they give back to local heroes for their commitment to the community.
Monday afternoon before Kehs got home from work, FPL's elves were hard at work putting up thousands of LED lights, solar-powered decorations and other energy-efficient decor to make the family's holiday season extra special.
"They just give so much, and they don't get enough. Every time being able to help a veteran, whether it's putting roofs on veterans houses before. We've had veterans teeth fixed. It's just they deserve it," Morrison said.
Kehs' wife and two teenage sons were able to keep the surprise under wraps until the big reveal. Kehs said he was planning on putting up lights later this week. Instead, he and his family will now be enjoying the decorations and all the gratitude that comes with it.
"I'm just extremely grateful for everybody that was able to put this together and acknowledge me for the things that I've done," Kehs said.