Do You Love Home Renovation Shows? Be Inspired By Transforming These Veterans’ Homes Into A Military Makeover.
Our military personnel show an unwavering commitment to service and are there when we need them most. Still, US government research shows that returning servicemen are at greater risk of homelessness and housing problems than their civilian counterparts.
What happens when they need help finding safe and stable housing – one of the most basic human needs of all? Who serves them?
Recently, we took a closer look at a program aimed at improving home stability and making home dreams come true for active, retired, and veteran military personnel and their families. Military Makeover with Montel is a unique Lifetime home improvement series that engages conscientious designers, contractors, landscapers, and other home improvement professionals like the guys at MaconGutterCleaningPros.com to transform homes and lives of military families across the country.
PODS Moving and Storage was honored to be a proud sponsor when the Military Makeover team completed an extensive renovation at the home of an Atlanta veteran and his family. Read on to learn more about this veteran’s service, his home transformation, and other government and non-profit programs aimed at helping veterans and their families achieve safe housing.
SERVING IN THE SHADOW OF TRAGEDY
Meet Marcelino Marquez – Father, Husband, and Master Gunnery Sergeant with over 27 years of service in the US Army and Reserves. During his long time in the military, Marquez served in Mortuary Affairs for five years. This military branch includes the recovery and treatment of soldiers who died on the battlefield, including the processing and transportation of post-combat remains.
Mortuary Affairs service involves a particularly harrowing and difficult set of tasks, often leading to long-lasting consequences as unit members work to return to civilian life. In particular, studies show that Mortuary Affairs staff have some of the highest rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, including intense psychological pressure that can manifest years and decades later.
Marquez now works and lives outside of Atlanta with his wife Frances and three children — 11-year-old twins Jacob and Isabella and 9-year-old Maya — along with their dog, Rex, and Perry, the parakeet. He reports that he still fights every day to cope with the memory and aftermath of his military experiences.
HOUSE MAKEOVER FOR A HERO
After Marquez’s years of service and continued recovery, his family said their home needed some major TLC. This is where the military makeover came into play. Not only did the Marquez family’s home get the repairs it needed, but they also got the home of their dreams. A total kitchen renovation, all-new furnishings, and a high-tech entertainment system give it the “wow factor” that makes shows so much fun to watch.
Practically speaking, solar panels and a new energy-efficient HVAC system will save the family thousands of utility bills, while new siding, windows, floors, and floors throughout the house mean few maintenance concerns for decades to come. Thoughtful touches like a fully equipped garage gym and home office complete with CaptionCall technology to help Marquez communicate confidently over the phone despite hearing loss will support his physical and mental health.
Dive into the big reveal and watch the home transformation video here:
PROTECTION OF FAMILY PROPERTIES DURING RENOVATION
The renovation was so drastic that in the process, the family had to move and temporarily relocate. To avoid clutter and protect the family’s property, PODS provided on-site storage solutions and temporarily relocated the family’s property to a secure PODS storage facility. The sponsorship also included loading assistance from professionals. This paved the way for the design and built teams to make a seamless transition from old to new.
“PODS is so proud to serve the men and women who serve our country,” said Jason Felty, PODS operations manager in Atlanta. “It is a special honor to even be asked to be part of a military makeover. It’s only a fraction of what anyone can do to give back after the sacrifices they’ve made.”
Watch the charging process in action below:
HOUSING ASSISTANCE FOR VETERANS AND SOLDIERS
When it comes to post-military life, housing and maintenance are often the number one concern for veterans and their families. If you’re a veteran, you may qualify for one or more of these public and private programs:
GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS FOR HOUSING FOR VETERANS:
- VA Home Loan Benefits and other housing assistance are available to military members, veterans, and surviving spouses through the VA. The site provides details on VA Home Loans and other housing programs to help buy or build a home; refinance an existing home loan, or improve your current home.
- The VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program promotes housing stability and community integration of military members and their families by assisting veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
- HUD-VASH Veteran Housing Assistance is part of Section 8 for Veterans, a partnership between the VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This grant and benefits program provides veterans with housing assistance in the form of rental vouchers and other supportive housing services.
- Disabled veterans’ housing grants may be available to eligible veterans and military members with service-related disabilities to purchase, build, or modify an existing home.
TOP NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS AIMED TO ASSIST VETERANS IN HOUSING:
While the VA offers comprehensive programs, the bureaucracy can often be difficult for veterans to navigate, especially during times of crisis. Supported by both government and private grants, these non-profit organizations often help veterans cut through red tape while also offering special programs aimed at filling the gaps with veteran housing assistance and aiding military personnel—members on their return to civilian life. In addition to veterans in need of services, these organizations can be a good place to start if you’re looking for a way to help veterans.
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is a non-profit organization that supports veterans and their families through the instability of housing, employment, and access to benefits and medical care.
- National Coalition for Homeless Vets is a national network of community-based service providers for veterans and their families. This non-profit organization provides support with job placement, emergency and temporary housing, legal aid, health services, and more.
- Wounded Warriors Family Support helps with post-military problems such as housing instability, marital conflict, disability, financial stress, and health care gaps.
- United Way’s Mission United program coordinates among several outreach groups to connect veterans with housing initiatives, health care organizations, and employment services. Its mission is to honor and improve the lives of military members as they work towards a self-sufficient home and civilian life.
- Homes For Our Troops works to build and adapt homes for seriously injured servicemen and their families. Through this program, retired veterans injured in the Iraq-Afghanistan war (post 9/11/01) who qualify for the VA Specially Adapted Housing Grant Program may be able to receive free home construction or renovation to help with their injuries and/or physical disability.
- Military Makeover with Montel accepts applications from active servicemen, veterans, and their families to be considered for a home transformation.