Legendary talk show host Montel Williams and World Wrestling Entertainment star Lacey Evans are reflecting on their days in uniform as they help veterans transform their homes into peaceful sanctuaries.
In his television show, “Military Makeover with Montel,” Williams and his team travel across the country to renovate the homes of deserving veterans. Working with local volunteers, the team spends 10 days renovating each home. Shows air on Lifetime television and the Armed Forces Network.
“We incorporate (the family’s) needs into a makeover where we do everything from fixing the floors to the roof,” Williams said. “I, as the team leader, keep them on task, but at the same time, I interact with the family and do some pretty heart-wrenching and heartwarming interviews with them to be able to tell their story. One of the things that I really, really enjoy is the fact that rather than just say ‘thank you for your service,’ we are doing something.”
On July 13, Williams announced the winner of their #TagAHero campaign, a nationwide search to find their first recipient of a full home makeover in 2021. The winner is Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Burgess and his family, residents of Cape Coral, Fla.
Williams began his military career as a private in the Marine Corps and was encouraged by his leaders to attend officer training. He served as a special duty intelligence cryptological officer in the Navy for nearly 20 years and left service as a lieutenant commander.
Evans also began her career as an enlisted Marine, serving in military police and the only woman in her unit’s Special Reaction Team. Now, she’s a World Wresting Entertainment superstar.
For her role on the show, Evans pitches in to work on different projects just as she did for the construction company she started when she left the Marine Corps. Her husband is a general contractor and also helps on the show.
Evans credits her confidence and success in her profession and family life to her military service. She said becoming a wrestling superstar gave her a platform to elevate her mission to give back to veterans.
“I knew that this is what I needed to do in order to help as many people as I could,” Evans said. “It not only pushes me to be the best mother, be the best wife, be the best sports entertainer that I possibly can. Because at the end of the day, to me, life is about giving back and helping people.”
On the last day of the 10-day renovation, the family walks through their home to explore the new features and upgrades. The hosts said a lot of thought and consideration is put into each corner of the home to ensure the family is comfortable and at ease.
“It’s more than changing their home,” Evans said. “We find out what their interests are so we can not only give them a brand-new home, but inside the home is specifically designed for their needs. If they struggle with depression, if they struggle with anxiety, Jennifer, our stylist, makes sure the color theme inside the home literally triggers their brains to be able to have better days. It goes so much deeper than just a new home. I hope that it brings these families a breath of fresh air. Life is hard … but we get to take some of the weight that they’re carrying off their shoulders and it shows on reveal day.”