Guard Family Receives Extreme Home Makeover

Guard Family Receives Extreme Home Makeover

Flynn, Mary


Spc. Michael Lucas received a pair of special homecomings last month during his mid-tour leave from Iraq.

The first was with his family. The second was a week later to his new abode, courtesy of ABC television’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

The popular Sunday evening reality show combines a team of designers with local volunteer workers to completely refurbish a deserving family’s home.

The Lucas family consists of Michael, 37, his wife Jean, 33, and boys Michael Henry, 11, and Joseph, 6.

Jean studies ancestry and genealogy research and works with a therapist for Joseph, who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Michael, a member of the Virginia Army National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry, is a history buff who had started building a house on the site of the Civil War Battle of High Ridge near Rice, Va.

Unfortunately, he mobilized before he could finish the home, and the family moved into a rental property in Cullen, Va.

Enter the Makeover team. After surprising the reunited family with the news of its selection, the design team sent the Lucases on a weeklong vacation to Disney World and went to work.

Hundreds of volunteers, including about 50 Virginia Guardsmen, joined Ty Pennington and the rest of the design team in a complete overhaul of the property.

The big reveal of the new home came Dec. 10, when hundreds of volunteers, soldiers, workers, neighbors and curious onlookers gathered to welcome the overwhelmed Lucases to their new home.

“I can’t say how appreciative I am of this community and how much I love these people,” Michael said. “[I appreciate] the state and the community for how much they’ve given me.”

ABC plans to air the episode either next month or in March.

By Staff Sgt Mary Flynn

Copyright National Guard Association of the United States Jan 2008

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