Connect with us

People On The Move

16-Year-Old Aspiring Orthopedic Surgeon Launches New Non-Profit Aimed at Helping Veterans



Thundar, Lighting, and Peace: The New Nonprofit That Helps Veterans Find Their Purpose

By Rachel Silverman — Freelance Writer for IEBJ

“I met this veteran. He served two tours in Afghanistan and after he came back he had PTSD. He had trauma. And every year for the past 6 years a member of his squad has committed suicide. The VA was filling them with meds and money. And not giving them a purpose.” -Samantha Haylee Moreno — Founder of Thundar, Lightning and Peace 

Stories like this are foundational to Thundar, Lightning, and Peace (TLP), a 501(c)3 started by Etiwanda High School Junior, Samatha Haylee Moreno. TLP will support and provide resources and find a purpose for veterans fighting PTSD, depression, and suicide. 

“I want to be the resource girl. If a veteran is an amputee and they’ve been fighting with the VA for a wheelchair or a cane, I’ll get it for them.” Young and passionate, the energy radiated off of Samantha when sitting down to talk to her about her nonprofit. 

Coming from a military family, she has had first-hand experience and interaction with veterans. Her mother was in the Army for 9 years, leaving home at 17 and juggling her service while having a child and going to college. 

Samantha is following in her mother’s trail of hard work. As an aspiring Orthopedic Surgeon with a 4.57 GPA and a participant in multiple school sports and clubs, it’s a wonder where she’s finding the time and energy to start a nonprofit. 

Thundar, Lightning, and Peace is not a mere glory project. Samantha has her sights on Oxford and Harvard and eventually medical school. And the final goal? Orthopedic surgery either under the VA or as a field surgeon. Sam wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and serve her country. 

In the meantime, TLP is her way of making a difference. She’s working under the guidance of Justin Bond, a veteran amputee who founded Our Heroes Dreams, a nonprofit that offers programs and services to fund veteran’s passion projects. Our Heroes Dreams offers veterans multiple programs through recreational activities and community outreach that give them something to be passionate about. This is the core of what Samantha wants to provide: the ability and access for veterans to find and pursue their passion.

“In the end, we know that pills will only do so much. When someone finds their passion, they realize they can be happy again, and that’s what I want to do. I want to be the source for veterans to understand; you’re not alone. You’re not the only one suffering from trauma. We’re not gonna fill you with pills and shove you out of the way. We’re going to find you a purpose and a passion, so you don’t feel alone.” 

Once Thundar, Lightning, and Peace’s 501(c)3 status are officially approved, Samantha will begin fundraising to start camps, therapies, and other programs aimed at helping veterans find a purpose. She plans to have the operation fully functional in the next six months. 

“I already have veteran contacts and a list of things they need.” She’s making plans for a silent auction, and the GoFundMe page for Thundar, Lightning, and Peace is up and open to donations. If you would like to contribute, you can find the link here:

If you would like to follow TLP on social media to stay up to date on fundraisers and silent auctions: 

Instagram : @tlightning.peace 

Facebook : tlightning.peace 

To contact TLP: Email

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

People On The Move

People On The Move: New Mountain View Services Foundation Executive Director — Crystal Cook



Mountain View Services, Inc. Introduces MVS Foundation and its new Executive Director with support from OCCF (Orange County Community Foundation)

Recently, Eric Goodman, President/CEO Mountain View Services, Inc. (MVS., Inc.) created the MVS Foundation as a way to give back to our communities. He and MVS, Inc. have been doing this for many years. With the help of the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), MVS, Inc. has established a fund and a formal grant process. To date, MVS Inc. has supported many great organizations such as Ronald McDonald House Charities, the American Heart Association, OneOC, Mountain Shadows Foundation, Angle View, United Way, Momentum UCP, The ARC, The Wooden Floor, Thunder, Lighting and Peace, Independent Choices, Peppermint Ridge, Hope House, Olive Crest, HomeAid and the Boys and Girls Club, to name a few.

Mountain View Services, Inc. (MVS, Inc.) has a mission to provide the highest quality products and services available to their customers so they, in turn, can provide the highest quality service to the residents they serve. MVS, Inc. is a leading Healthcare supply and distribution company, serving more than 500 Care Facilities for Developmentally Disabled Adults and Children, Home Care Facilities, Hospice Care Companies, Nonprofits, Schools, Care Centers, and Homeless Shelters.

The MVS Foundation was established with a vision to help others. Helping others in several components, including funding their mission. Eric says, “the more people we meet, the more people we can help.” Eric announced he has hired Crystal Cook as the MVS Foundation Executive Director. Eric shared “that I could not think of a better person to partner with on this journey to build and develop the MVS Foundation. In my 29 years of working with charitable organizations as a Board Member and volunteer, Crystal is by far one of the best nonprofit leaders I have ever met.” She showed him how professionals work in the nonprofit field through her compassion for others, follow-up, and professionalism. MVS, Inc. decided it was time to bring Crystal on to help build this vision out. To create a mission and strategic plan that allows the Foundation, with Crystal and Eric’s leadership, to offer non-profit mentorship, coaching, board development, and fundraising expertise to other companies looking to get more involved with charitable foundations. “Giving can move mountains, and we cannot do it alone,” says Foundation Executive Director Crystal Cook. Together we can move mountains. 

Crystal Cook began her career at the young age of 14 years old, working for Wienerschnitzel in Moreno Valley and being promoted to store manager by 16 years old. Just two years later, realizing that she was soon to need her own medical insurance, she obtained a second job in the banking industry, where she was shortly scouted and recruited to the credit union industry by a credit union recruiter. Working within the credit union industry was where she learned about philanthropy, volunteerism, and the people helping people philosophy. Being an Ambassador of the Moreno Valley Chamber of Commerce, a graduate of the Leadership Moreno Valley Program, and Co-Chair of the MV/Val Verde USD Student of the Month Program, to name a few, it was this; her drive and authenticity, that her career blossomed from there.

Today, Crystal brings with her over two decades of industry experience, including large nonprofit health agencies serving as Executive Director for the American Heart Association, Inland Empire Division, as Senior Development Director with The Leukemia & Lymphomas Society, East Bay, San Francisco, North Bay, and Napa. Since March 2022, Crystal resigned from her most recent role with HomeAid Orange County serving those experiencing homelessness to stay home and serve her family, her boys (Jaxon, 5, and Tyler, 3), and shares what a blessing this has been. Crystal and Eric had been networking as she was supporting Eric with his efforts to find the right fit for his team for the MVS Foundation. She shares that she was humbled and honored when Eric reached out, sharing, “I have a crazy idea, this should be YOU while working remote and putting your family first.” Now, she is serving her family and Mountain View Services as MVS Foundation’s newest and first Executive Director.

Continue Reading

People On The Move

New General Manager announced for Toyota Arena in Ontario, California



Toyota Arena has announced the position of General Manager has been filled by Gus Le Grand. He took on the day to day duties of General Manager as of March 20, 2023. “We are pleased to welcome Gus to Ontario and look forward to his expertise in managing our entertainment venue.” said Michael Krouse, Regional Vice President of ASM Global. “His experience in the live entertainment industry, as well as the food and beverage sector, will benefit the guests of Toyota Arena”.

Gus has over twenty years of accumulated experience in the Hospitality and Entertainment industry. His passion for the business began when ne moved to Maryland from Wisconsin at the age of twenty-one. Through hard work and dedication Gus obtained a management role and became the Assistant General Manager at Ram’s Head Live! Within this position he managed an astounding three hundred employees while handling all scheduling, inventory, and day to day operations. In this capacity, Gus’s passion for the industry and customer service became glaringly evident. Within six months he was promoted into the role of General Manager where he played an integral role in Ram’s Head Live!’s $2.8 million-dollar annual revenue. Most recently, Gus was at Live! Casino Hotel in Hanover, MD. His love for music and people drives him daily to help others to succeed. Gus is active in mentoring others to reach their full potential. Gus Le Grand will relocate to Southern California. Learning about the region that will be his new home, the arena, and getting to know the guests of Toyota Arena will be his top priorities.

Continue Reading

People On The Move

Andrew Roseberry — People On The Move




Erickson-Hall Construction Co. welcomes Andrew Roseberry as its Talent Acquisition Specialist. A Navy veteran, he brings eight years of HR experience. At Erickson-Hall, he will improve efficiencies, streamline hiring processes, and recruit new personnel. Erickson-Hall has been a California construction leader since 1998.

Andrew can be reached at



Continue Reading

Business Journal Newsletter