Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Driving a Military Makeover – Designing Spaces

Driving a Military Makeover – Designing Spaces


Starting today we show our
appreciation for those putting their lives on the line to keep
our great nation free. I’m talking about the men and
women in the armed forces. One deserving military family
gets a makeover starting right now!
Let’s get this show on the road, boys.
Come on! (music).
Time for us to show our appreciation and give back to
those who have sacrificed. This is Designing Spaces:
Military Makeover, and it starts right now.
Behind me is the home of Robert Keefe, and his family, where
Designing Spaces has launched into a military makeover.
Taking a military family’s house and giving it a pedal to the
metal, ship-shape makeover. Let’s meet Robert and his family
now. Lieutenant!
Bobby! I grew up in Okeechobee,
Florida. Graduated Okeechobee High School
in 1996, and went to a couple years of college and then joined
the Marine Corps. Before joining the Marine Corp,
Robert was working as a produce manager at a local grocery
store. I was a cashier, and he worked
as a produce manager. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of
her. I used every tactic just to talk
to her. Finally, she agreed to go on a
date with me, and first date, first kiss.
Soon after, Robert enlisted and joined the Marine Corp, training
to become a recon Marine, he was deployed to Okinawa, Japan,
before being sent to combat in Helmin Province in Afghanistan.
We averaged 6-10 IED strikes every mission.
My truck alone hit five IEDs. Robert was lucky to escape three
more IED attacks, but his luck eventually ran out.
The fifth IED strike was the one that injured me.
The impact was right up underneath my seat.
I felt my neck and head just getting crushed.
The injuries were serious. Diagnosis: Vertebrae compression
fracture, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic
stress disorder. The incident did not go
unnoticed back home. I actually had a dream and I saw
it, and what happened was, I felt it.
Wow. I’m alive and I have all my
limbs. I feel very very blessed.
Adjusting to civilian life has been a challenge.
It’s hard. It’s just hard because I knew
him before he went into combat, before he was a Marine.
I knew Bobby. Every day that I drive, I still
wonder when my vehicle is going to get blown up.
It’s been a struggle. Now it’s time for us, at
Designing Spaces to give back to Robert and his family.
With the help of the Gunny, we’ll transform their home and
give it a serious upgrade. I’ve been envisioning opening up
the kitchen some. Definitely some new cabinetry.
I can’t wait to have appliances, especially the refrigerator.
We need tile floor in the master bedroom.
I’d love to get into that garage and re-organize it.
Your wish is our command. The heavy lifting will begin
right after this. (music).
(power tools sounds). (music).
When mobilizing any operation, you need vehicles that will
deliver. That you can trust!
That you can count on! Art!
Somebody wake Art up! Art, get over here.
You’re up, dude! Hey, gee thanks, Gunny, but I’m
on it. Our friends at Nissan North
America are back. This is Andy Galvin, and he’s
here to tell us about the vehicles used during this
makeover. What draws you guys to projects
like this? You obviously do Habitat for
Humanity as well. We do.
Nissan is very active in trying to be involved with military
families and veterans. We’ve worked very closely with
Habitat for Humanity, as you just mentioned.
We’ve been with them since 2005. We’ve aided with relief efforts
in the wake of Katrina and Rita, and yeah, we’ve donated over 11
million dollars. We’ve built 64 homes and donated
128 vehicles, and we’re very very committed.
One of the bigger tasks at hand during this home renovation is
the garage makeover, and what better place to store the goods
than in a Nissan vehicle. This is the Envy High Roof,
essentially 323 cubic feet of cargo space and 6 foot 3 height.
It’s like a rolling garage. It is a garage.
But this is not the only vehicle assisting with the makeover.
We’ve brought the Envy Passenger with us, which seats 12, and we
brought the Envy 200 compact cargo, which is our compact van.
So, for the folks at home, what kind of applications do you find
the Envy being used in? Well, the Envy Passenger is a
very versatile vehicle. It’s very different than
anything else in the segment. It has removable second and
third row seats, so you can configure the interior in 300
different ways, which means you can take more cargo, more
people. We’ll take a break from the
garage makeover and Nissan, and check in with the Gunny, who is
sending the Keefes on a memorable shopping spree.
Hey, Gunny, you’re up. New appliances are just the
upgrade the home needs. No cutting corners.
Sky is the limit. Whoa, this place is a mess.
Who made the mess in here, anyway?
You need to hire Mrs. Gunny. She’d square that place away in
no time at all. (music).
As part of our military makeover, Robert and Bianca will
be getting new appliances, so we sent them to the Sears Hometown
Store in Labelle, Florida to do some shopping.
Nice to meet you. Welcoming and consulting
neighbors is a common occurrence for the store owners, like Liz
and Daniel Pregren. This new pair of Kenmore washer
and dryer just came out. It’s got some of the biggest
capacity. You’ve got the new triple action
impeller. This allows washing clothes
using less water. It also features a slow close
lid, making the loud bang when closing the lid a thing of the
past. That’s always the annoying part.
The lid slamming. It wakes up the kids at night
whenever Bianca does the laundry at night.
They pretty much read our minds knowing who we were, and the
family setting. Unlike the traditional ones
where you mechanically pull out, this is new, top of the line
Kenmore. That’s beautiful.
Then coming to the dryer, it’s the largest in its industry.
It’s 8.8 cubic feet capacity. That’s huge!
It’s also one of the first that’s EnergyStar qualified.
Awesome. It has a really cool sensor that
will determine if your clothes are completely dry.
So, if it’s dry 15 minutes early, it will detect it and
shut the dryer off automatically resulting in huge energy
savings. And also, it has a setting that
you can do sanitation and it will clean 99% of the bacteria.
What I love about the washer and dryer was one, the capacity –
how big it was. But energy efficiency was the
biggest thing for me too. Next up is the refrigerator.
Given the fact that Robert and Bianca currently don’t own one,
this will make the experience extra special.
Here we have our Kenmore Elite refrigerator, and as you can see
inside, its got a very large capacity for your large family.
It will hold all of your groceries.
I’d also like to show you a new feature that puts the ice maker
in the door. The in-door ice-maker, like
wow… you don’t even know its there,
and there’s still shelving around it, so that amazes me.
Here is the freezer. The freezer features multiple
drawers and offers plenty of room.
Before we continue with the Keefe’s exciting shopping
adventure, let’s take a quick look at an organization that
helped Designing Spaces find Robert and his family.
This is Robert Chelberg and Howard Gollen, who are here to
tell us a little more about this charitable organization.
We are a local organization that’s just for South Florida,
and we help the people here who are referred to us by the
Veteran’s Administration. That’s how this organization
connected with the Keefes. Their first deed was to raise
funds to donate a car to the Keefes after
they found themselves stranded without one.
Well we’re after trying to do the temporary emergency needs
that they all face, for example they are about to be evicted
from their home because they haven’t paid the rent, or the
mortgage, or whatever. They don’t have food on their
table. They haven’t been paying the
utility bills so they’re going to get shut off, gas, water,
electric. So Howard, after the VA gives
you potential candidates, where does it go from there?
We assess their financial needs, require to look at all of their
bills, we pay their bills within 48 hours.
To find out more about this organization, go to their
website at WoundedWarriorsFlorida.org
Stay right where you are! Military Makeover will
recommence immediately after this break…
if you’re lucky! (music). Let’s check back with Robert and
Bianca as they continue their shopping spree at the Sear’s
Hometown Store. Here we have our Kenmore Elite
convection range. The oven part has a dual
convection, so that gives you fast preheating and it will cook
all of your food evenly. It also underneath has a warming
drawer, which is important for keeping your food nice and hot
when you’re preparing large meals for your family.
I love the warming drawer that’s on the bottom as well, and the
convection oven that’s going to cook faster for me too, which
means that I’m going to spend more time with the family, not
just in the kitchen. It keeps the handles out here in
the front, so you’re not reaching over, a little bit
safer layout. I like that.
And I like the five burners. Another cool feature is the
turbo boil, allowing for water to reach the boiling point a lot
faster. You guys mentioned it was
important for you to get cooking fast when you get home.
Gotta love that. This is going to do that for
you. We also have a matching
microwave to go above it. It’s got convection as well.
So it completes the look. Wow.
Well let’s move on the dishwashers to complete your
kitchen. Alright.
And, here we have our Kenmore Elite Built-In dishwasher.
Its got a stainless steel tub, and it’s 45 decibels, making it
one of the quietest dishwashers in the industry.
We’re super excited about the quietness.
Something that is very important, obviously if the kids
are doing homework, it’s a nice quieter environment for them to
do so. This particular one has 360
power scrub, as well as turbozone, so you don’t even
have to scrub your dishes anymore.
You put them in there. That’s what I’m talking about.
You said this was adjustable? Yes, this one is adjustable, but
we have another model I can show you that has a one-hand
adjustment on the top rack. Gives you a little bit of extra
room, if you guys do any entertaining.
Yes. Yes, definitely.
Alright, well let me pull it up for you.
Alright. Here you can see this current
model here, compared to the next step up.
You’d have that one-handed adjustable top shelf, as well as
it’s even quieter than this model.
So, it was really neat that they were able to show us something
even different, even better, that they had here in the store,
which is what we went with. Alright, well we really
appreciate you coming by today. Thanks so much for having us.
Also appreciate your service. My pleasure, thank you.
It was a wonderful experience to deal with local people.
It was very touching to know that they appreciate my
sacrifices. Thank you from the bottom of our
hearts, because not having a refrigerator, it’s very hard,
and we appreciate it. We do.
Visit SearsHometownStores.com to see more about Sears Hometown
Stores. (music).
The garage makeover is in full swing, and the high roof Nissan
Envy is filling up, but we still have a ways to go.
The Envy Passenger van offers unexpected luxury.
You know, you have your own map reading lights.
You have your own shoulder belt. Customized.
Customized. It’s the luxury you just would
not expect and it’s a fantastic vehicle.
It’s perfect for a long-distance road-trip with the family.
You know, somebody wants to read.
Somebody wants to watch a DVD. One person is hot, one person is
cold. Everybody gets along.
Everybody wins. The Envy Compact Cargo is the
third vehicle in this military makeover lineup.
Helping to transport last-minute items needed to make this
makeover a success. The Envy 200 Compact Cargo is
the smallest of all our vans. It has a small footprint.
It has great mpg, and it’s basically perfect for ideal
inner-city locations. The whole design and concept of
it was to help people make deliveries, get around, just the
60/40 access doors. Easier to park.
Easier to park. Easy access.
Plenty of room for cargo and people.
Has a backup camera, too. Yeah, it’s got the backup
camera. It’s got bluetooth.
It’s got power outlets. It’s not just a van.
It’s an office environment, because these people spend a lot
of time in their vans. With the entire Envy lineup we
wanted to take all of that into consideration.
And as you can see, we’ve almost got the entire contents of our
garage loaded into the high-roof.
Absolutely. It’s the small things of the
Envy’s that make them different. When designing the vehicles,
Nissan based their research on everyday trade people to find
out exactly what their needs are, allowing for vehicles that
match the essential desires and requirements for industry
professionals. People install upfit packages
and shelving. We decided it would be easier
for us to pre-drill the holes for them, that way there’s no
long lasting damage, no corrosion.
It’s just those small little things that make the difference
in the Envy lineup. We’ve put high-wear fabrics in
high-traffic places. We made the front basically an
office, because they spend a lot of time in there, so they have a
workbench. They have places to put their
files, their laptops. They have multiple power
outlets. The entire experience is about
driving, it’s about comfort, and it’s about versatility and that
is what the Envy lineup is all about.
So where can we find out more about Nissan and the amazing
warranty? That’s right.
We back all this up with a 5-year 100,000 mile warranty.
It’s America’s best commercial van warranty.
You can find out more by going to NissanUSA.com Excellent.
Thanks for being here. We really appreciate your help.
Thank you very much for having us back.
Thank you to Nissan. Thank you.(music).
I’ve pushed this crew to a state of exhaustion, but there is much
more to do for this military makeover, so be sure to
reconvene here again for part 2. I’m Gunnery Sergeant R.
Lee Ermy, and I’ll be waiting right here for you.
Don’t be late. I know where you live.
For more information about anything you’ve seen on today’s
show, or to find out how to be part of the show, log in to
DesigningSpaces.tv You can visit these websites to
learn more about the participants on this edition of
Designing Spaces. (music).


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