Today, Saturday, January 14, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s” Ty Pennington and the design team traveled to Wilson County, Texas to surprise the Harris family with the door knock that can change lives.
IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) in Iraq have killed far too many of our brave troops. For others, they’ve marked the end of the road in their service there and, as with SSG Shilo Harris, the beginning of another long, hard road ahead to recovery. On Feb 19, 2007, while on patrol in Iraq, a massive IED struck the vehicle Shilo was in – blasting it to pieces. Shilo’s face and more than 40% of his body were terribly burned. But despite his catastrophic injuries, Shilo’s only concern was for the safety of the men under his command, and he would not allow himself to be medically treated until he received confirmation that his troops were out of harm’s way.
During Shilo’s endless months of painful surgeries, he and his loyal wife, Kathreyn, found their true calling — to help wounded warriors through the agonizing and traumatic processes of recovery, rehabilitation and learning to bravely face a life that has forever been altered. Shilo, once sufficiently healed, began a career as a motivational speaker, giving hope to others similarly impacted. Kathreyn, taking up the cause as well, began working for the Army Wounded Warrior Project. The two now dedicate their lives to giving back.
With each day, the Harris family puts more distance between themselves and the event that changed their lives. Unfortunately their home now stands as a symbol of their struggles. It cannot protect Shilo from the dangers of dust and heat, which keeps him from living a normal life and serves as a constant reminder of the devastating injuries he suffered. The family have tried everything to make the home comfortable for him, but it’s not enough. This hero, who was burned and disfigured while fighting for his country’s freedom, now cannot find respite in his own home.
The “EM:HE” design team has just seven days to build a brand new home for the Harris family while they are whisked away on a dream vacation to Landstuhl, Germany so that Shilo and Kathreyn Harris can meet with wounded warriors recently returned from the field. Meanwhile, “EM:HE” team leader Ty Pennington, designers Michael Moloney, Paige Hemmis, Ed Sanders and Xzibit, along with local non-profit organization Morgan’s Wonderland and community volunteers, will build the structure.
The build location is 674 Cottletown Road, Wilson County, TX 78957.