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Veterans and Lincolnton residents Natasha Woodruff and Luke Harvey pack up their belongings in preparation for a complete home makeover courtesy of Military Makeover.

Wednesday found Natasha Woodruff and Luke Harvey at their home in Lincolnton packing their belongings. They were moving out, but only temporarily into a vacation home in Newton. Both Harvey and Woodruff are getting the makeover of a lifetime. 

Harvey served as an Infantryman in the United States Army for six years and Woodruff who served as a Geospatial Engineer in the United States Army were chosen to receive a completely transformed home on the upcoming season of Lifetime’s Military Makeover show hosted by Montel Williams.

Two years ago, the couple moved to Lincolnton and found what they thought was the home of their dreams. Really, it had everything, a new metal roof, all new appliances, a new tankless water heater and other upgrades that they wanted. It seemed exemplary until the perfect storm happened. Within the first month, the refrigerator stopped working. After two hurricanes (Matthew and Florence) went through Lincoln County, the roof leaked in five different places and needed to be replaced. The HVAC system had to be replaced, the septic pump was replaced twice, there was an electrical fire in the laundry room and there’s been plumbing issues including flooding. 

“It put a lot on us,” Woodruff said. “Every single month there was something that we had to pay for.”

Both Harvey and Woodruff are disabled and unable to work. During a deployment to Iraq, Harvey’s convoy was hit by an IED causing him to suffer from a severe head injury that resulted in extreme memory loss and the inability to walk. It took him two years to partially recover from his injuries. To recognize Harvey’s bravery and sacrifice, the military awarded him the Purple Heart and Army Commendation with Valor. During basic training, Woodruff was sexually assaulted, receiving physical injuries and now suffers from PTSD.

“It followed me through my military career,” she said. “It took us about a year to get him convicted and when we did, we found out he was a serial rapist, but nobody wanted to say anything because they were scared of repercussions and other reasons.”

Upon her retirement in 2014, she was awarded her the Women of Courage award by the Pentagon. Harvey and Woodruff were both in the same unit and met at Fort Bragg.

Harvey told Woodruff about Lifetime’s Military Makeover. He knew about the program through a Facebook friend who was a previous recipient of the makeover and suggested that Woodruff apply for it. As is the case when people apply for contests and such, she didn’t expect to win. The reality is setting in now with their home filled with packing boxes.

The couple, who have three children, Luke, who is 15, Xylee, who is three, and Coen, who is a year and a half, as well as a squirrel monkey and two dogs, have to vacate the house in Lincolnton on Friday. They will be housed by Military Makeover for the 10 days it takes to completely transform their Lincolnton home. The couple were able to pick out colors and gave the designers some idea of what they like as far as decorating, but they have no idea of what the designers, contractors, landscapers and home improvement professionals will ultimately do with their home.

While the couple are excited about the upcoming makeover, because of her PTSD, Woodruff’s a bit of a homebody and all the attention they’re getting through this process is a bit overwhelming.

“Having somebody come into your personal space is kind of anxiety inducing,” she said. “To not know what they’re going to do is a little much, but I got to meet all of them and give them my perspective of what I would do. It’s going to be a life-changer for us, it really is.”

Military Makeover is looking for skilled trades people and general labors to volunteer during filming which will be from March 1-12. Sign up to volunteer: bit.ly/3aUNBac 

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