Dec. 3, 2007

Virginia Army National Guard Soldier selected for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”

Spc. Michael Lucas and his family were selected to be on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”  (Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

From Staff Reports

RICE, Virginia –  A deployed Virginia Army National Guard Soldier, from Farmville, Va., and his family have been selected for the show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Spc. Michael Lucas, who is currently deployed to Iraq with C. Co. 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry, Virginia Army National Guard, and his family have been selected to be the next family featured on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”  

Lucas, who has returned to Virginia on mid-tour leave, landed at the Farmville, Va., Army National Guard Armory today and was driven to his home in Cullen, Va., on the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” bus to surprise his family with the news that they were selected for an “extreme” home makeover.

During the next week, designers from the show, area builders and volunteers will be working to build a new home for the Lucas family. On Saturday, Dec. 8, Virginia National Guardsmen will be on site to volunteer with the construction of the Lucas’ new home.
 
Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion trained at Camp Shelby, Miss., from June to early August, and arrived in Kuwait in late August. In early September, the unit moved into Iraq to begin its mission, which includes providing convoy security.

While the television crew looks on, Lucas is greeted by his wife Jean and two children after arriving on leave from Iraq. (Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Lucas began building a house on his own near Rice, Va., but his work was cut short by his mobilization. The family currently lives in a rental house in Cullen, Va. At home are his wife Jean, 33, and his two sons Michael Henry, 11, and Joseph, 6.
 
Jean home schools both of her sons, and the family was nominated for the show by members of the home school cooperative where Jean is a member. The Lucas family was one of five military families in Virginia to be selected as finalists. The nomination left her and her family incredibly excited and almost in a state of disbelief.
 
“It has been very surreal, and I can’t even believe it is happening,” she said. “I keep telling myself this can’t be real. It hasn’t hit me yet.”
 
The new house will be a great help to the family because Rice is much closer to the town of Farmville.
 
“Michael worries about us because we have so far to drive, so a new house would give him less to worry about,” she said. “It would be so nice to have our own home.”

Joseph Lucas, 6, and his family not only got to see their dad who has been deployed to Iraq, but his family also got the news that they will be receiving a new home from the television show. (Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

The family has a 3.7-acre lot where Michael started building the house. In addition to being in what Jean called “a nice little neighborhood”, it is also on the site of the Battle of High Ridge. Michael has done extensive research and writing about the battle, and hopes to make some sort of recognition of the battle once his house is complete.

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," which has won back-to-back Emmy Awards as Best Reality Program (non-competitive), is in its 5th season on ABC.  The program is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding.  Denise Cramsey is the executive producer; and David Goldberg is the president of Endemol USA.

Local civilian media coverage:

Richmond Times Dispatch: 'Extreme' reward for family
http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2007-12-11-0108.html

Richmond Times Dispatch: Crowds turn out to see house built for 'Extreme Makeover'
http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2007-12-09-0189.html

WSET.com: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition- The Revealing
http://new.wset.com/news/stories/1207/479432.html

Ty Pennington of "Extreme Maheover Home Edition" greets Spc. Michael Lucas with the news that his family will be featured on an upcoming episode of the show. (Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

 

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