February 10, 2008 09:19 PM by DA Southern
We couldn’t be in the State of Kansas without Ty Pennington riding along a dusty dirt road on a bike like Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz, could we? Ty even had Toto in his bike basket as he rode along telling us about tonight’s episode.
Ty told the design team about how Daniel Gilyeat, a decorated U.S. marine and a loving father to his four children, was out on a mission when a bomb hit his truck when he was on a tour of duty in Iraq. He suffered major injuries and lost his left leg above the knee. 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. After returning home, Daniel suffered another setback by becoming a single Dad to his children after his wife of nine years left Daniel and the kids. Now with a rundown house which is becoming unmanageable due to Daniel’s condition and his kids to raise, Daniel finds himself needing the Extreme crew’s assistance. Now, Ty and the designers, Paige Hemmis, Eduardo Xol, John Littlefield and Rib Hillis, with the help of hundreds of volunteers will build the devoted family a new home in seven days.
At 8:32 AM, that sneaky Ty had the designers quietly leave the very long bus the designers all ride in, and that we are sure no one saw coming, and surprised the family by yelling at them…which I am not sure is a good thing to do to a Marine!
After the family greeted Ty and the team, Ty announced that the family was off to vacation in California but that before they went, Ty wanted to see the obstacles of the home that Daniel had to adapt to. Ty went in with Daniel and saw his spare legs that he uses to run with so as to stay as physically active as possible. Daniel showed Ty how he had to remove his leg and the challenges he faced as he reverted to his wheel chair while in his home. Unfortunately, the home is a much older home and not really accessible for a wheelchair. Daniel showed Ty the one room set aside for the children and his room with the only closet in the home and explained to Ty how blessed he was to be able to spend the time with his kids.
John was with the two little boys, Danny and Nicholas, as they were in a small dune buggy and John determined that they liked big trucks. You know, those monster ones with the huge tires. John was going to have the boy’s room be a shared one, which is unusual for the Extreme team as the homes usually are big enough. However, John determined that since the boy’s ages were so close they would be better off in a shared space…either that or the Extreme budget is getting tight.
Eduardo was with Victoria and saw that she was a huge Dr. Seuss fan, and as he read the book with her, he knew that this was the way he was going to proceed. Rib was with older daughter, Alexis, and talked with her about the bond between her and her Dad and how she had to take over and become a care-taker, of sorts, to the other kids. Rib also determined that she loved climbing trees and Rib knew that he wanted to give her a forest room of some sorts and Paige was seen walking around Daniel’s garage to see how she could fix it up for him as he loves working on cars.
On Day 2 at 9:02 AM a humvee with Ty riding in the unit and was seen leading the volunteers, many of them American Military, onto the build site. Ty introduced 3-time Extreme builder Kevin Green of Kevin Green Homes who would lead the build. Kevin exuberantly spoke to pep up the volunteers as Ty manned the video camera to show Daniel and the kids the demo of their home and the touching removal of the flag pole and flags that were in front of the home.
Day 3 started for our viewing eyes at 10:14 AM, but from the look of things, it had all been going on for many hours before that. Eduardo was seen talking to the builder about the incredible work that had been done until now and John was seen telling us of the unique insulation that was eco-friendly that would save on energy cost. Rib was up in a tree for inspiration for the rainforest room for Alexis and took a field trip to the Rainforest Restaurant in Kansas City for inspiration and Eduardo was using the Dr. Seuss book, Horton Hears a Who, for his inspiration.
Ty’s secret room was Daniel’s room, and it looked as though it was a Japanese inspired room that would have a Samurai theme as well. John went to some monster truck shop to see “The Bounty Hunter”, a monster truck, and was inspired when he saw the monster truck crush some car. We can only hope that one of the boys were not going to be crushed. That would not be good TV.
Day 4 looked extremely busy already at 8:41 AM as Paige excitedly showed us the homes framing that had been done and Rib showed his concrete rainforest design taking shape that would be strong enough for the kids to climb on. John was actually seen cutting a truck up for Nicholas and Daniel’s room beds and chopper parts for a couch in the room as well.
Eduardo was knee deep in the Dr. Seuss room and Ty made a call to the family for a surprise…a limo ride to see the hot Hannah Montana Concert with Miley Ray Cyrus, who was the favorite of the family and especially, Alexis. The family saw the concert and then had a chance to go backstage to see Miley Ray Cyrus and get autographs and pictures with the teen sensation.
Day 5 rolled around at 9:23 AM and the landscaping was being prepared as were the inside details of the home. What is unique about this home is that, due to Daniel’s condition and his having to use a wheelchair, the house was a single level home with extra wide hallways and doorways to accommodate him. In tonight’s Ty-larious moment, Ty was seen trying to break a tile going into his secret room with a helmet and, of course, it did not break. After several more attempts, he gave up and the scene shifted to Paige doing some creative work at the speedway for inspiration for Daniel’s garage.
In a touching scene, Ty accompanied Daniel back to the hospital where Daniel was first located after his accident and Daniel was reunited with the nurse who saw him through his worst moments during recovery and Daniel then spent time talking to other wounded soldiers inspiring the wounded men to continue on and stay strong by encouraging others.
Day 6 was flying by as we got our first look at 12:53 PM, and you could see the explicit detail work being blitzed by on the screen in the huge home. The furniture and the final individual room designs were being completed and Ty was seen walking into the secret room with Samurai swords and a head sculpture yelling that the head was what happened to the last person who tried to look at this secret room. OK, yet another Ty-larious moment. In the finishing touch, the flag pole was being installed by marines in the final preparation for Daniel and the kid’s homecoming.
Homecoming Day had the family arriving to a military homecoming with a whole battalion of marines and a military escort to boot. In one of the most overwhelming homecomings ever, Daniel and the kids were completely in awe of the support for the family by the support of the community and the marines who had designed the special flag pole in front of the new home.
Ty sent the family into the home and showed them the unique design features of the beautiful home and nine year old Alexis said how grateful she was for the new home because it would allow them to be kids, for once, and that her dad could get around the home because there were no upstairs. The young boys, Danny and Nicholas, were first into their new room. In their monster truck room little Danny was excited about the room and to not have to share a room with his sisters anymore. Alexis was blown away at her rainforest room as she immediately got into being by herself. Victoria was very funny as she looked at her Dr. Seuss room in amazement, even assuring older sister, Alexis, that it was indeed her room.
Ty’s secret room, the master bedroom for Daniel, was a Zen retreat that gave the tough marine another moment of being truly touched. Ty’s Samurai-inspired room truly was one the best rooms he has done in a while, and it showed in the finer details of the room for the marine. Daniel was again touched that Ty had gone through such a painstaking job in his metal room and office filled with Marine Corp memorabilia.
In the final scene, Ty showed them the new garage filled with state-of-the-art tools and a brand new F-150 truck that would be big enough for the entire family as Ty gave his famous line we all wait for, “Welcome home, Gilyeat family, welcome home.”
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