02-10-08, 08:43 AM
The Extreme Makeover of the Dan Gilyeat's House is set to be Broadcast as a 2 hr special on Feb. 10, 2008
Link to story in the Kansas Star Sunday Edition:www.kansascity.com/115/story/442353.html (http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/442353.html)<!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END-->
The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” show that was filmed in Kansas City, Kan., in November will air Feb. 10 on Channel 9(ABC).
The program will be a two-hour special edition, according to spokesman Tony Libra of Kevin Green Homes of Parkville, which built the nearly 3,000-square-foot home for Iraq war veteran Daniel Gilyeat.
Gilyeat and his four children have been living since Nov. 11 in the home on North 65th Terrace, which was built to accommodate Gilyeat, who lost part of his leg in a mine explosion in Iraq. The home makeover was the third the TV show has done in the Kansas City area.
02-10-08, 09:19 PM
Yep!!! Got it qued and set to record tonight!!!! Thanks Bloop!!
This guy Ssgt. Dan Gilyeat was one of the MOST deserving people I've seen the Extreme Homemakeover people help!!! I've seen them help people who honestly didn't need their help but this Marine...who lost his leg, came home and his wife left him with (4) kids to take care of...has his heart and soul intact, man!!! OOH-RAH!!!! He got a new house and a new truck and a new garage...now all he needs is a new woman in his life!! Not the old one who left her 4 kids...the disloyal, nondependable b!tch! The brotherhood came through with fine style with a small falg ceremony and the Patriot Riders were also present!!! The whole story was nothing short of AWESOME because he was very, very deserving of everything!!
My Hardwood guy did the floors in that home... It is just right down the street from me. I helped when I could.. What an awesome project. There is a rumor bouncing around that the extreme team is doing another home in KC in the near future... FOR ANOTHER MARINE...
I'll post details when I can..
Not the old one who left her 4 kids...the disloyal, nondependable b!tch!
LMAO... She lives across the street from him in the chithole she earned with the crackhead she deserves... I knew God had a plan....
02-11-08, 08:48 AM
If you see the SSgt Gilyeat and his family. Please let him know that a lot of us Marines are behind him and watched his family and him last night. I was truly a very touching and rewarding story. You friend did a greta job on the floors. The entire house is amazing, and the love me room.
And oh yeah one more thing, do whatever it takes to keep that skank out of his life.
02-11-08, 05:56 PM
LMAO... She lives across the street from him in the chithole she earned with the crackhead she deserves... I knew God had a plan....
Man...is that some frikkin POETIC JUSTICE or what?!?! I'll bet he's just rubbing that sh!t in her face....the b!tch!!! I KNOW i'd be telling her, "yeah..lok what you missed out on, b!tch! Just pay me my child support!!"" LMFAO!!!! What comes around...goes around!! This Marine has my utmost respect and I'd buy him a beer if I ever met him!! OOH-RAH!!!
02-11-08, 07:35 PM
Posted on Thu, Nov. 08, 2007
Marine training helped ‘Extreme Makeover’ recipient overcome his war injury
By ERIC ADLER
The Kansas City Star
Two days before ABC’s Ty Pennington knocked on his door to change his family’s home and life, Daniel Gilyeat stood pumping iron in the Kansas City, Kan., YMCA, his tattooed arms bulging under the weight of a curl bar.
“Improvise. Adapt. Overcome,” the Marine, his left leg blown off in Iraq, had been saying.
If the 35-year-old military mechanic knew that the people from “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” were about to remake his world, he never gave a hint. Who could have guessed at the coincidence? Veterans Day was approaching.
On this day, prior to any official announcement, he was just talking about his veteran’s life, his leg and the Marine saying that pressed on his brain when, as his marriage crumbled, there were days “when I was so depressed that I wanted to put a bullet through my brain.”
Some days, when he lay recovering at the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, his mind swimming with prescription drugs, he’d worry:
Could his already failing marriage be reconciled?
Would he be able to walk, or work, or play with his kids?
“Would I be less of a man?” he said. “I was starting to have these suicidal issues. A lot of it was the drugs I was on. I couldn’t even tell you all the drugs.”
Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. The strategy kept running through his mind. It wouldn’t be the first time, he said, that being a Marine would rescue him.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Kan., Gilyeat admits he was a hellion as a kid, becoming “pretty rowdy” after his parents’ divorce when he was 8. He dropped out of high school and longed for direction. Without some discipline, he might have ended up like a lot of guys he knew, he said, “getting high and playing video games.”
“When I was younger, I ran away from problems,” he said. Part Pawnee and Delaware, Gilyeat traveled to Montana and, at age 18, enrolled in an all-Native Job Corps learning to fix cars. In March 1995 he joined the U.S. Marines and was trained for double duty as a mechanic for Humvees and as a machine gunner.
“I wanted everything to be hard,” he said. “If I was going to do it, I wanted to do it 100 percent or not at all.”
But real lives often are more complex than those on reality television. Gilyeat’s life is no different.
In the Marines, while working funeral duty at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina, he met another Marine, a supply sergeant named Maureen Riley. They dated. In 1999, they married. Gilyeat already had one child from a relationship with a different woman in another state. Together, he and Maureen would have four of their own — Alexis, now 9, Victoria, 8, Danny, 6, and Nicholas, 4.
They also agree that the marriage was troubled. “From the word ‘go,’ ” Gilyeat said. There were problems with money. Problems with work. Problems with perceived promises to each other about how their life together would go.
Maureen had quit the Marines after nine years. She got work at the Ford Claycomo plant putting together engines on the assembly line. Gilyeat, meantime, did a mix of jobs — working sometimes as a welder, fixing up vintage cars he would buy cheap and resell. He’d teach martial arts and ink tattoos for friends for extra money. His own arms are covered with dragons.
But life at home remained hard. When the Marines called Gilyeat back to duty after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he was glad to go. Although Maureen said she thought he was crazy, he re-enlisted. In 2003 he was bound for Iraq, a four-month tour, and made it back safely.
“We had been having marital problems again,” Maureen said. “We both agreed that we needed some time apart. So he agreed to go to Iraq a second time.”
It was March 2005, a seven-month tour. Gilyeat was uneasy: “I had a feeling I’d get wounded.”
July 3, 2005, 6 p.m.
Gilyeat tells the story: He sat in the front passenger’s side of a Humvee, part of a detail clearing roadside bombs outside Ramadi. They rode into an ambush. Small-arms fire, rocket fire. Gilyeat’s Humvee circled. A tank mine exploded beneath them, blowing off Gilyeat’s left leg just above the knee.
Dust and smoke swirled. “Medic!” He could hear the shouting.
He tried to stay calm, knowing that if his blood pressure spiked, the blood would only spill faster.
“I was thinking it could be real easy to die,” he said.
Instead, he joked, telling an officer with whom he lifted weights that he probably wouldn’t be doing the leg workout that night. A medic bumped his injured leg.
“I told him, ‘If you bump my leg again, I’m going to punch you in the (sensitive place),’ ” Gilyeat said.
Morphine flowed through his body. By July 27, 2005, when he entered Brooke Army Medical Center, so did worry and self-pity. Soon it was followed by determination.
“He’s got heart and grit. Totally,” said Shari Grewe, the transitions patient advocate at the Kansas City VA Medical Center. “He doesn’t let anything get him down.”
In Texas, in the hospital, he made up his mind: “I thought, like in high school, I could either run away from challenges or I could run toward them.”
So he ran toward them on a new $40,000 prosthetic leg which, in time, he would come to see not as a disability but as an opportunity.
“In some ways, I think it has been a blessing,” a test of will, he said. “Within 27 days of my leg being blown off, I was up and walking.”
Two weeks after that, he returned to Kansas City for a visit. He was in the airport in Texas. A stranger approached.
“This guy asks if I got hurt in Iraq,” Gilyeat recalled. “We have this conversation for five minutes. He says he appreciates what I did. I go to the terminal. He comes back and he says, ‘I’ve done really well for myself in life. I want you to have this check. Who do I make it out to?’ ”
Gilyeat offered his name. The man signed the check, handed it to Gilyeat, and walked away.
“I look down,” Gilyeat said. “It was for $5,000.”
Three months after his injury, Gilyeat was doing squats and climbing stairs.
Over the months that Gilyeat was in and out of the hospital, Maureen said she visited often, leaving the children with friends. In the hospital they had time alone. They talked about rededicating themselves to each other. Gilyeat received a $50,000 lump sum payment from the military for his injury. At least $10,000 went to buy a ring and throw a backyard party in which Gilyeat and Maureen renewed their vows.
What happened with the rest of the money is hard to know. The topic brings differing stories, accusations and recriminations, with Gilyeat saying he paid off thousands of dollars in credit card bills that Maureen had accumulated.
“We were $10,000 from losing our house,” he said.
Maureen conceded that while Gilyeat was in Iraq, money became so tight that she missed two mortgage payments and risked foreclosure. As for the $50,000, she claims that Gilyeat gave $10,000 to a friend in financial need, $5,000 to a relative and, as for the rest, “I have no idea where it went.”
Gilyeat was released from the hospital in Texas on Father’s Day in June 2006, some 11 months after his injury. By mid-October 2006 the two were divorced. Maureen, now Maureen Claiborn, remarried a few weeks ago, on Oct. 12, and lives in a five-bedroom brick home she and her husband rent only a few houses away from Gilyeat.
Two of the children — Alexis and Nicholas — live with Gilyeat. Victoria and Danny live with their mother.
Neighbors talk about Gilyeat as a kind and decent man who, despite his disability, rushes to help others.
“You can’t ask to meet a better person,” said longtime neighbor Teresa Johnson.
“You could ask him for his last $20 and he’d give it to you,” said friend and neighbor Keith Jones.
At the VA Medical Center, Grewe said Gilyeat has become a regular visitor and “inspiration.”
“He wants to hear the stories of all veterans in the military,” she said. “I think he wants to share their history by seeing what they went through, seeing it through their eyes, hearing them tell their stories.”
For her part, Maureen is thrilled that her children will be getting to live in a new home. At the same time, she said, she is mystified why the television show chose Gilyeat.
“I’m not saying that because I’m the evil ex-wife,” she said. “I want him to succeed. I want him to find someone to spend the rest of his life with and be happy and move on. I’m happy for them getting a house. But I’m really upset over some of the things I’m hearing: mom not in the picture; he’s a single father of four, everyone saying this poor vet who lost his leg, his wife left him after he lost his leg, this poor guy.
“I’ll tell you, he could have lost both his arms and legs in Iraq and I would have stayed with him, if we had a good marriage.
“My ex-husband is perfectly capable of working. He’s a single father of four. But he’s not struggling.”
These days, at the YMCA every morning, Gilyeat said he is lifting weights with a different life in mind.
“I want to try out for the Olympics — bench press and archery,” he said. “Not being killed in Iraq, I have a second chance.”
The comments from Daniel Gilyeat in this story came from interviews made before ABC announced it had selected him to receive a new home. Once named, the network did not allow him to speak to the press. Comments by his former wife, Maureen Claiborn, and Gilyeat’s neighbors came after the network’s announcement.
02-11-08, 08:41 PM
I STILL think she probably should've stayed with him and at least tried to work it out! Besides, did you hear what the neighber had to say about her?! Here it is again: "... She lives across the street from him in the chithole she earned with the crackhead she deserves... I knew God had a plan...." If she wanted that life with this OUTSTANDING MARINE, the b!tch should've stayed and tried to work it out instead of turning to crack!! Yeah...I hear once drugs has that hold on you...its hard as hell to let it go!!! This guys ex-wife is just another example...
02-14-08, 04:21 AM
This Marine rocks!!! As a single parent and military supporter, this man is truly what a Marine is. He is a hero in my book and always will be. I was a civilian in Iraq that also got injured near Ramadi around the same time he did. I was also based at the main air base in Iraq and saw alot of injured. I may not be a servicemember but I am the daughter of a retired Drill Sarge and come from a long line of military, what Daniel has gone thru and has done for our country, our families and his children, is exactly what America needs more of. God Bless Daniel and his family and all servicemembers!!!!!
02-14-08, 05:09 AM
I pray and I know, the next time we hear his name in the news he will be getting a medal in the Olympics like he wants, GET SOME MARINE! OORAH!
02-15-08, 04:05 PM
If you go to the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition message boards at ABC.com, you'll see a lot of women falling all over themselves wanting to date Daniel Gilyeat. Some of them are even saying they got dibs on him--what a hoot!