Tuesday, September 20, 2005

'Extreme makeover' rebuilds home of Army family

I had never watched 'Extreme Makeover-Home Edition' until the other day when the show built a home for the family of Pfc. Lori Piestewa. In fact, that has been the only Extreme Makeover show that I've watched. But, there will be a second show that I won't miss. The story follows:

'Extreme makeover' rebuilds home of Army family

By Kristen Marquez

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (Army News Service, Sept. 19, 2005) – The home “makeover” of a Soldier injured in Iraq will kick off the season premiere of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” Sept. 25.

In late June, the family of Master Sgt. Luis Rodriguez got a surprise visit from the cast and crew, including the popular Ty Pennington, and a new 3,225-square-foot home near Fort Campbell, Ky., specifically tailored to the Rodriguez family’s needs.

Rodriguez was injured in Iraq in 2003, losing his right leg above the knee, two fingertips on his left hand and he sustained serious shrapnel wounds when his Humvee was struck by a roadside bomb near Mosul, Iraq. Over a period of four months, he underwent 16 surgeries and had to learn how to walk with a prosthetic leg and crutches.

Show to reveal ‘Spirit of Soldiers’

Although the Rodriguez family has lived in their “made over” house for nearly three months now, they look forward to seeing the behind-the-scenes actions that transformed their home.

“I don’t know what to expect [from the show],” Luis Rodriguez said. “[The producers] won’t tell me anything.”

The Rodriguez’ lives have not been the same since the home makeover.

“The first two weeks after we got back we had people driving by, snapping pictures and coming to the door,” Luis Rodriguez said.

Overall, he is pleased with the new home and is looking forward to seeing how the show turned out.

“It represents a lot; It represents the spirit of Soldiers,” he said. “It will be a positive thing to go out to the entire nation.”

(Kristen Marquez is a staff writer for the Fort Campbell Courier newspaper.)

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