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Rodriguez Family On Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

September 24, 2005 11:01 PM by Joe Blackmon

"Rodriguez Family, Parts 1 & 2"– A brave Iraq War soldier and medic — a man who has endured much tragedy in the past — and his family are the latest recipients of an "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," in two back-to-back episodes airing SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 (7:00-8:00 and 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. The first episode from 7:00-8:00 p.m., ET will air as the Season Premiere, while the second, from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET, will air in the series’ regular time-slot.

As a child in Puerto Rico, Master Sergeant Luis Rodriguez dreamed of joining the United States Army. In 1990 he enlisted and made his dream a reality. He loved working as a medic and being able to help save his fellow soldiers, but while serving in Iraq last year, he was the one who needed saving.

In March of 2003, at the beginning of the war, Sgt. Rodriguez was shipped out with his unit to Iraq. He served for nine months before tragedy literally hit. While en route to a recently looted hospital in Mosul, Sgt. Rodriguez’s convoy was ambushed when his Humvee was struck by a roadside bomb. In that instant he lost his right leg above the knee, lost two left fingertips, and sustained serious shrapnel wounds to his left leg. Now the medic who loved helping others needed someone to rescue him!

Sgt. Rodriguez spent the next four months at an amputee ward, undergoing 16 separate surgeries and learning how to walk again with a new prosthetic leg and crutches. He and his wife, Lillian, and their two daughters, Michelle, eight, and Melanie, six, live in Clarksville, Tennessee. But their small home is too narrow and awkward to accommodate his crutches and new needs. He constantly trips on the carpet, has to navigate his way carefully around furniture and hallways, and can barely manage to get into the bathroom.

Despite all that’s happened, Sgt. Rodriguez refuses to retire from the Army and the job he loves. He is now working as an instructor at the combat school of medicine at the Army’s Ft. Campbell base, while his wife is studying to be a social worker in order to become a counselor to the families of injured or killed soldiers. This brave couple have taken tragedy and turned it into triumph, but they can’t turn their tiny home into a place that is friendly for an amputee without some help.

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," along with local Clarksville builder Clay Powers LLC and the non-profit organizations Disabled American Veterans and Homes for our Troops, will give this deserving soldier and his family a home he can be proud of.

While the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" design team, contractors and hundreds of workers and volunteers are transforming the Rodriguez’s house into a dream home, they will go on to a rehabilitation facility in Akron, OH, and Sgt. Rodriguez will be fitted for a new prosthetic leg.

The design team for this episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will feature team leader Ty Pennington, Paul DiMeo, Ed Sanders, Preston Sharp and Paige Hemmis.

Topics: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition |

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19 Comments »

19 Responses to “Rodriguez Family On Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”

  1. C Myer's Says:
    September 25th, 2005 at 7:26 pm

    This was a great family and our family felt they deserved the makeover. We are very upset for the fact that their house was a gorgeous house. Why tear it down when it could of been moved and given to another family. I get so irritated with the waste in this country. Hurricane Katrina and Rita victim’s among even a poor family in our states. They could of built a new home over that spot. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???

  2. Spike Brown Says:
    September 25th, 2005 at 9:58 pm

    I caught tonights episode on the Rodriguez family and cried right along with them.

    What a wonderful courages family and to Ty and those who made it happen there’s a special place in heaven for all of you!

  3. contessa mendoza Says:
    September 25th, 2005 at 11:17 pm

    Congratulations Rodriguez Family. Hopefulley You’ll read this and can respond. This is Contessa from The Mendoza Family season 1. Not only do we share this WONDERFUL and God sent experinece, but we share our culture and our profession. I’m a social worker too. From one Boriqua to another Wepa le!!! Hopefully we can get in touch with each other. God Bless. Boriqua Party!!You know what a proud people we are.

  4. contessa mendoza Says:
    September 25th, 2005 at 11:18 pm

    Congratulations Rodriguez Family. Hopefulley You’ll read this and can respond. This is Contessa from The Mendoza Family season 1. Not only do we share this WONDERFUL and God sent experinece, but we share our culture and our profession. I’m a social worker too. From one Boriqua to another Wepa le!!! Hopefully we can get in touch with each other. God Bless. Boriqua Party!!You know what a proud people we are. And don’t worry about any negative things you may here from people. You know there are always haters.

  5. karie Says:
    September 26th, 2005 at 10:36 am

    I am not denying Mr. Rodriquez is a hero and an inspiration. However, I have some issues. The show started with the cast going on how he needed a roomier home so that he could get around easier on crutches. Then he is sent away for a week to be fitted for a prosthetic leg. When he returns he no longer needs crutches, he is dancing with his wife and is hoping to run marathons. I am thrilled by his progress, but why the need for this huge house?

    The waste issue, yes, they donated the perfectly good doors and windows from the “old” house, but yet took a sledge hammer to kitchen cabinets a lot of people would have loved to have. Not to mention blatantly smashing a perfectly good set of dinnerware against a wall. Its the waste that I find distasteful.

  6. sweibel Says:
    September 26th, 2005 at 12:34 pm

    Can anyone remember the name of the poem they framed having to do with a soldier standing at heaven’s gate. I’d like to get a copy.

  7. Judy P. Says:
    September 26th, 2005 at 1:43 pm

    I also agree with the comments above. There was absolutely nothing wrong with their house and he would have gotten around fine after the new leg (that would even be enough). I feel that the young man who got the doors and windows deserved a house! Did you see how he had to move around in a wheelchair with both legs gone! I support everyone of our men and women who have gone to Iraq – I have friends and relatives who have been there too. I think Bobby should be the next recipient!

  8. Shari Nuttall Says:
    September 27th, 2005 at 1:59 pm

    I,too, would like the name of the poem about the soldier standing at heaven’s gate. I have a nephew who is in the navy and would like a copy of that poem.

  9. Cassandra Jurgersen Says:
    September 27th, 2005 at 5:39 pm

    The name of the poem is “Final Inspection”

  10. john ferron Says:
    September 29th, 2005 at 4:20 pm

    where can i buy the stick on safety grab bars?
    another fantistic show……

  11. Beverly Cooper Says:
    September 29th, 2005 at 6:09 pm

    Hello!

    Please tell me how can we receive an “Extreme Makeover- for our project that we are putting together to help the refugee kids from Somolia and other countries? These displaced people & their children are now in Maine. We are wanting to create a “One-of -Kind” Pre-School Room. little “Harvard. Please help us make this a place where learning is truly fun and the want “TO” is even greater. Environment is vitally important to the stimuli of children- plus-this is a vision that I havehad for over ten years. Please help me make it a reality.

    Thanking you,
    Beverly Cooper-
    The Visionary In Westtbrook, Mine

  12. Beverly Cooper Says:
    September 29th, 2005 at 6:10 pm

    Hello!

    Please tell me how can we receive an “Extreme Makeover- for our project that we are putting together to help the refugee kids from Somolia and other countries? These displaced people & their children are now in Maine. We are wanting to create a “One-of -Kind” Pre-School Room. little “Harvard. Please help us make this a place where learning is truly fun and the want “TO” is even greater. Environment is vitally important to the stimuli of children- plus-this is a vision that I havehad for over ten years. Please help me make it a reality.

    Thanking you,
    Beverly Cooper-
    The Visionary In Westtbrook, Mine

  13. Beverly Cooper Says:
    September 29th, 2005 at 6:11 pm

    Hello!

    Please tell me how can we receive an “Extreme Makeover- for our project that we are putting together to help the refugee kids from Somolia and other countries? These displaced people & their children are now in Maine. We are wanting to create a “One-of -Kind” Pre-School Room. little “Harvard. Please help us make this a place where learning is truly fun and the want “TO” is even greater. Environment is vitally important to the stimuli of children- plus-this is a vision that I havehad for over ten years. Please help me make it a reality.

    Thanking you,
    Beverly Cooper-
    The Visionary In Westtbrook, Mine

  14. Steve Cheeseman Says:
    October 1st, 2005 at 7:43 pm

    I Would like to know the name of the name of the organization to which you can donate building mat. to help the returning vets. from Iraq. I have several items that would probably of use to them.

  15. M. Cameron Says:
    October 5th, 2005 at 9:06 pm

    I, too, would like to know the name of the organization that recycles materials for homes for our troops.

  16. chad hutchison Says:
    October 17th, 2005 at 10:55 pm

    the name of the poem featured on extreme makeover home edition, rodriguez family is called “final inspection”…….does anybody know where to get a copy of this poem, please e-mail me

  17. nick dillon Says:
    October 31st, 2005 at 1:24 pm

    http://www.fathershands.com/finalinspection/
    this is the link to the poem “final inspection” this was read at my best friend lance crpl. Daniel Morgan McVicker’s funeral by his little sister. and my opinion on all of the hooblah on the house being to big is shut up stop being so upset and jelous. most of you do not know what its like to be this man and his family. if i had the money i would build a house for all of the familys of injured soldiers in need of assistance. have a heart and be thankfull he made it alive.

  18. Chris Crenshaw Says:
    November 14th, 2005 at 1:19 am

    Can anyone help? I would like to recreate the underwater lighting effect used in the aquariam mural room. I remember the jon boat on the ceiling with panel cut out of the sides but I cant remember how they created the water ripple effect on the walls. Could someone explain the setup to me? thanks

  19. Chase Juregrsen Says:
    December 7th, 2005 at 7:17 pm

    This story sounds very similar to my father. He was wounded twice in Iraq and he went back to Iraq the first time to lead his soldiers home, only to lose a leg. He is still fighting to get back to normal with an amputated leg. I am turning an application as soon as possible for my family. And it was nice to meet you Rodriguez at the amp ward.

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