I hate Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Every week when I turn it on, the tears begin to flow. Last night’s episode was especially hard to watch. It was about a Marine who was a single father of 4 kids all under the age of 10. He had served 2 tours in Iraq and on the last tour lost his leg. His wife left him 1 year later. His home was multilevel and it was awkward for him to get around on one leg and in a wheelchair. He was still active; running and doing martial arts, and was also great at motivational speaking with other injured soldiers and marines in the hospital about what to expect when dealing with traumatic injuries and their aftermath.
This is the family bio from the EMHE website. (Note, people there is a big difference between soldiers and Marines!):
"Daniel Gilyeat is a decorated U.S. marine and a loving father to his children, having served not one but two tours in Iraq. During the second tour he volunteered for, he was out on a mission when a bomb hit his truck. He suffered major injuries and lost his left leg above the knee. In addition, his marriage ended and he suddenly became a single father. As with many soldiers, deployment had put a huge stress on his marriage. But despite these setbacks and personal battles, 25 days after losing his leg, Daniel was up and walking with a prosthetic leg, and inspiring other wounded soldiers by visiting them in the hospital and speaking with their families. He tries to create a normal environment for his children and to take proper care of them, but household chores are difficult because the house is not handicapped accessible; it's nearly impossible for him to get around, as all the floors are uneven and the doors are very narrow -- he often has to rely on a wheelchair. What's more, the laundry is in the basement. Daniel's trying to rebuild his life, and one of the things he desperately needs is a safe home where he can raise his kids"
When they came to his home this big tough marine had tears of gratefulness in his eyes. The community and his Marine brothers all turned out to aid in the building. I cried as I watched his Marine brothers take down his flags and fold them reverently and then carry off the old flagpole like a fallen comrade. They were their in their dress blues when he came home (on Marine Corps birthday no less) to his new home and big new flagpole. Some of the marines present were the ones who were with him in the convoy when he lost his leg. One of them, the one who tied the tourniquet around his leg stepped forward to great him and the 2 big tough guys just stood there hugging and crying. I get emotional just recalling the scene.
Marines are pretty incredible men. I have the pleasure and honor of having several Marines as friends, relative and I even married one. They are fiercely loyal to their beloved Corps and Country. They are not perfect but they would give the shirt off their back or even their very lives to one of their brother marines. I would rather have 1 marine at my back than a hundred soldiers.
P.S. I wonder how many women are calling this guy after seeing him on that episode?