The Military Makeover with Montel TV show, led by Montel Williams, a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Navy, came into town recently, and for six days, contractors, designers and volunteers worked feverishly to give a makeover to the Riverview home of veterans Kari and Adam Clarke and their two sons.
Family, friends, neighbors, volunteers and the East Bay High School Junior ROTC Color Guard gathered as the rain poured steadily, awaiting the family’s arrival for the big reveal.
Military Makeover co-host Art Edmonds proclaimed, “This is all about community. Rain, cold, wind—nothing could stop us.”
Williams’ Military Makeover show seeks out deserving veterans and does a complete design renovation on their home as a way of offering a helping hand and saying “thank you.” “This is our 29th season,” said Williams. “We are proud to making a forever home for a two-veteran family.”
“She is so deserving,” said Kristine Dugas about her sister, Kari. “She is always helping others.”
From landscaping and new paint outside to new lighting, appliances, furniture, artwork and even a cat tree to entertain their fuzzy feline, the house had a whole new flair and function. Additionally, the Clarkes received a hyperbaric chamber from Grunt Style, which will aid in Kari’s autoimmune disease. “That is really exciting and very helpful,” said Kari.
“We are so glad they like it,” remarked co-host Lacey Evans at the big reveal. “Our whole team nailed their personality.”
After meeting at The Veterans Administration hospital, Kari and Adam found that their similar experiences brought them closer together. Both served as army sergeants in different areas and saw the horror of the front line in war, losing close friends, cheating death and encountering horrific situations that would stay with them for life. The aftereffects of an accident during training left Kari with several herniated discs in her spine and being diagnosed with auto-immune disease, forcing her to medically retire long before she hoped to end her military career.
Though both Adam and Kari continue to battle their emotional and physical scars, and they spend their time giving back and supporting others. Kari serves as president of Post 9/11 Veterans, an organization in Tampa that focuses on integrating the community together with returning veterans.
Many volunteers and businesses throughout the community donated their time and products during the six-day shoot, including Chill Cawfee, Lowe’s of Riverview, Bath Fitters, SERVPRO of Brandon/Riverview and others. Smith & Steele Design served as general contractors throughout the entire project.
Nominations for Military Makeover can be made at www.mililtarymakeover.tv. The Clarke family’s show is set to air on Lifetime on Friday, March 11.