By Spc. Sharla Lewis, 3rd BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.December 8, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas -- A Soldier with 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division was surprised with an early Christmas present, Dec. 6, on Fort Hood.
ABC producers with Extreme Makeover Home Edition selected Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler, a scout formerly with the squadron, and his fiancAfA to receive home a makeover.
Zeigler was shot multiple times in the head and body during the Fort Hood shootings last year. Zeigler and his fiancAfA have spent the time working on his recovery.
The makeover couldn't have come at a better time than now, said Ty Pennington, the head designer on the show.
"I think this is our chance to honor a man that's sacrificed a lot for his country," he said. "It's a miracle he's here today. What they need right now is a sense of security and permanence on the path to recovery and this will really give them that."
Soldiers stood in formation at the 1st Cavalry Division Museum for an awards ceremony to cover up the surprise.
With Zeigler in attendance, two Bradley fighting vehicles roared to a stop near the formation and dropped their ramps to reveal Pennington, Paul DiMeo, rapper Xzibit and special guest Leigh Anne Tuohy.
Soldiers clapped and cheered at the sound of Pennington's voice over a megaphone. The excitement of the crew and troopers spread to a gathering crowd and the recipients.
The designers rushed to Zeigler, who shared a wide smile with his fiancAfA, to congratulate them on being selected and to talk with them about their experiences over the previous year.
Zeigler and his fiancAfA talked about the shooting, his extensive recovery and their need for a home to start a family. After the initial surprise, Zeigler, his fiancAfA and the design team loaded onto the show's bus to take a tour of the build site.
The delight on the faces of everyone there was contagious and by the end of the day, conversations buzzed with excitement over the upcoming events.
Zeigler and his fiancAfA said they couldn't be more honored to be recognized and thankful for such a gift.
"I'm ready to move out and move in and get started!" Zeigler said. "It's one of those things where I want to push the pause button and enjoy it, but I also can't wait to see the end result."