First Lady, Fort Bragg Soldiers welcome home Jubilee House residents
July 21, 2011
Barbara Summey Marshall knew when the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crew showed up July 14, that some very special volunteers would donate their time to help build her a new home.
One special volunteer, First Lady Michelle Obama, arrived Thursday, July 21 in Fayetteville, N.C. to not only help complete Marshall’s home but also to show her support for the military.
“The fact that she (Obama) came to Fayetteville to take part in this phenomenal project confirms how passionate she is about people, women and veterans,” said Master Sgt. Jennifer Loredo, Comprehensive Soldier Fitness noncommissioned officer in charge, XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Marshall, a 15-year Navy veteran, bought the Jubilee House at 120 Langdon St., in Fayetteville with the hopes of providing shelter, support and services such as mentoring and life coaching to homeless female veterans. Just one week ago, Marshall was struggling to house the women she had staying at her shelter. The home was a modest, 1,600 square foot ranch that was in need of major renovations to meet the needs of Marshall and the residents.
Over the past seven days, EMHE design crew, Ty Pennington, Tracy Hutson, Paul DiMeo, John Littlefield and Sabrina Soto, workers and volunteers have been at the site 24 hours a day working to finish the house on time. Between scorching temperatures and a grueling schedule, workers were put to the test.
In the end, the builder met their deadline and Pennington, along with the crew from EMHE, hundreds of volunteers and local residents, revealed the new and extremely improved Jubilee House Thursday afternoon announcing, “Bus driver, move that bus!”
Marshall’s new house now includes enough space for her to move in with her son, space for additional residents to live comfortably, a gym, garden, greenhouse, resource center and more than Marshall ever dreamed of.
Staff Sgt. Ebony Dublin, a Smithfield, N.C. native and supply sergeant at Fort Bragg’s Advanced Airborne School volunteered during the week and attended the reveal.
“I was more than happy to volunteer my time because that could be me one day. I think it is great that Barbara (Marshall) spends her time helping people so now that someone is taking the time to help her " it’s awesome,” said Dublin.
The first lady and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, have made numerous appearances to further the program’s reach. Obama will continue to promote “Joining Forces,” a national initiative that mobilizes all sectors of American society to support service members and their Families. Her next stop will be July 24 to an event in New Hampshire for National Guard and Reserve Families.
“This campaign is about all of us - all of us joining together as Americans to give back to the extraordinary military Families who serve and sacrifice so much every day so we can live in freedom and security,” Obama said during an event earlier this year.
Obama’s last visit to the Fort Bragg area was in March 2009, for her first tour outside the White House after becoming the first lady.
“I had the distinct honor and pleasure of, not only, meeting Mrs. Obama today but also shooting a few scenes with her for Extreme Makeover Home Edition. She was very genuine and expressed her gratitude for my family's sacrifice, as I am a Gold Star wife. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and will never forget it,” said Loredo.
The Extreme Makeover Home Edition show featuring the Jubilee House in Fayetteville is scheduled to air on ABC in October.
For more information about Extreme Makeover Home Edition, this project or others, go to http://www.joinextreme.com/ or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/EMHome.
For more information about Fort Bragg go to www.fortbragg.army.mil or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FortBragg.