Episode 5: A Big Surprise for the James Family

Watch Operation FINALLY HOME give the James family the surprise of a lifetime.

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

[MUSIC] No, what do you want, you want orange juice? Orange Juice. I remember buying one a couple days ago. So you're blue, I'll be green, Rachel's yellow. You died, game over. [LAUGH] Our house is kind of our refuge, it's where we come as a family every night. We make a big deal about eating dinner together as a family, and to make a point of coming around the table and sharing our day together. Our house is where we do that. The primary reason we wanted to think about moving and getting into a bigger house was because we're planning on growing our family. Family a little bit. We found out in January that I was pregnant with Sadie. We've already got two girls. And it's a three bedroom house. And another big reason is that it's not really set up for a wheelchair. At then end of the day, as much as Joe does, he's wore out. He has to have that wheelchair in the evenings to rest, and his house wasn't setup for a disabled person. All the doors are too small. I hit my knuckles as I go into each room. The bathroom door was completely inaccessible. The bathroom. So we actually had to take the bathroom door off. And I'm gouging out the wood. [MUSIC] Of the door james. Like a lot of the stuff in the kitchen is out of reach. And being in a wheelchair I can't get most things. I destroy all the doors, all the james. I've torn this thing off the wall numerous times. I had to **** it back on And fix it up. The house is complete. All the exits are covered in stairs. So when my kids are out in the backyard playing and my leg is still sore, injured from walking around, I will be able to go out there. Once we started realizing Seeing that this house won't work for us much longer. That's why we started thinking about building someplace, pay for it ourselves. How was school, Mel? Good. Green. You got green today? Yay. [MUSIC] I was already in talks with Jeran, we're looking at buying property, just property. And I go, Mike Is an architect, and so maybe he has some pointers for ADA accessibility, to layouts of homes, and that's when Mike says, oh yeah, I could talk to some people, or whatever. He's very very vague. Kind of put him off a little bit, because we had just finished the operation finding home when I first started with him. So I thought, well this would be a great opportunity. When Jeb told me his story, I felt like I needed to do something. I thought, hey this is a great way to give back, and this is what I can do. [MUSIC] Mean time, Joe was asking me about every other Sunday about how can you get to me know. No Joe, can't get to you now, we gotta put it off. Kept it a secret for a long time. They worked with my wife behind the scenes, she was kind of filling out paperwork and doing things without me really knowing. I knew very little, but I knew a lot more than he did. I actually almost told the kids, just because I needed to tell somebody. But I knew that they are even worse at keeping a secret than I am. [MUSIC] They told me that Joe was gonna be getting the game ball and they wanted to surprise him. I forgot about everything that was going on. Months later she goes, hey I was talking to Goodall, they said that they wanted to go to the Titans game and go give you a game ball and I said, yeah. [LAUGH] I've never been to a football game ever, actually. It was a huge rainstorm that day and we got drenched. It was during the summer, a pre-season game, so it was a lot of fun. You know, we were warm but just completely covered. And as I was getting ready to leave the field, looking for somewhere to dry off and get my kids out of the rain. And they go, hold on, there's one more thing. Representatives from local home builders, Goodall Homes, LP Building products and Operation Finally Home have joined the family on the field. I'm excited to announce that they are partnering to provide a custom build home [APPLAUSE] For you and your family here in Nashville. [APPLAUSE] I lost it. I mean, you couldn't tell cuz of the rain, but I was in tears and my wife was in tears, my kids were jumping around going crazy. It was a very emotional moment, though, to see the look on his face. It was really amazing Amazing feeling to go to. To have that many people not just cheer me, but just to be so supportive of the veteran community. [MUSIC] When somebody thought To do something like that for my family, and thank me. It was an amazing moment in my life, I won't ever forget it. [MUSIC]
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