As military families, we willingly sacrifice so much in the name of serving this great country. One area that isn’t talked about enough is never feeling like our houses are our homes. Often, we are just too busy or just don’t want to really dig in because we know they are only temporary havens.
One Army spouse has made it her mission to change that mindset.
Maria Reed has spent the past four years renovating military families’ homes through her show, Moving With The Military. I caught up with her one day over coffee to dig into her why and to ask her about her most recent makeover, which was her biggest one yet!
“I created Moving With The Military to share the amazing stories of military families, their sacrifices, their trials and their successes,” she explained. “Being a military family ourselves we get it, because we live it. It’s more than the stuff we put in their houses, it’s helping them create a home for their families.”
Recently, Caliber Home Loans sponsored her biggest makeover yet. This time, it was for a Navy family who desperately needed support. After experiencing loss and an extended deployment of her husband, one military spouse came home to her house invested with rats.
“What happened to them was just heart breaking and the spouse was carrying the weight alone,” Reed shared. Her husband was on the Eisenhower, the longest no-port-of-call ship in Navy history. “She was going through so much and we knew we needed to step in and help. We wanted her to know the military community was here when she needed it the most.”
Volunteers rolled up their sleeves and got to work. First, they had to ensure that the rats were eradicated, with all points of entry sealed. They took out all of the old carpeting and installed new luxury laminate. Each room received brand new paint as well. “Military spouses from Fort Bragg made the drive and came to help because they understand the challenges that military spouses face,” Reed shared.
The family also received donations of furniture from a local Ross Design Co., which was owned by a military spouse. It was all hands on deck! “The biggest part of this project was the volunteers. Without Caliber volunteers coming in every day to work this would not have been possible. And all this during a global pandemic. Now that is commitment to serve others. This was a community coming together to help,” Reed said.
This wasn’t just a fix either, Reed explained. She personally designed each and every room for the family, redoing not just a house but making a home. “Today home means more than ever, but to a military family home means everything! Home is the place we find peace, we reintegrate, we get to start over, and we take with us where we go.”
Reed shared that the family absolutely loved it and were in fact, shocked by the transformation of the home. “There were lots of happy tears and shocked faces. They could not believe what we had done and they were so grateful and appreciated for everyone who came out and gave of their time and talents. Stacey [the military spouse] said several times, we changed their lives,” she explained.
The partnership between Moving With The Military and Caliber Home Loans has been incredible, Reed said. “Military families often feel unseen or unheard. We wanted them to know that they are important and are valued. Giving back is part of who we are and spread kindness can change the course of someone’s life.”
In the end, the take away from this story is huge. Our home means more now than it ever has and we should always plant those roots, even if we have to replant them a few years later. This makeover in particular also demonstrates the beauty of the military life: community.
We are stronger when we come together and when we do, magic happens.
Written by Jessica Manfre
This blog post was sponsored by our partner Caliber Home Loans
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