They drove past the family’s home every day.
They’ve decided to change what they saw.
Earlier this month, hordes of Wisconsin residents gathered to rebuild the Wojcik family home in partnership with Military Makeover with Montel. Made up of mostly volunteers, the community of Strum recognizes the importance of giving back to those who need help, especially veterans.
Around town, the family is known to be the greatest Green Bay Packers fans. This loving and humorous bunch is also known for their love to give back to the community through work and service. But to Military Makeover, they are a family smiling through the pain of the aftermath of service to our nation.
Sergeant Steven Wojcik served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years. In 2004, his vehicle was hit by an IED in Iraq, resulting in years of mental and physical ailments for him and other survivors. He was discharged honorably from the Marines and was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat, as well as a Meritorious Service Medal and a National Defense Service Medal.
He had surgery on his back for injuries related to the explosion in 2011 and 2017 and still deals with chronic mental and physical pain. Despite this, he has served 16 years in the Army Reserve and continues to serve his community as a Wisconsin State Trooper. Since his time in the field, he has earned many accolades, including an Army Achievement Medal and an Army Accommodation Medal. In recent years, he has been more open about his struggles with PTSD in hopes of helping veterans with their own demons.
Wojcik’s wife of 20 years, Terri, and daughters Alyca, 19, Amberlee, 16, and Alyson, 13, are so grateful for this makeover, hoping it will relieve stress as Steven works on his health.
Following in her father’s footsteps, Amberlee is well-known in her community for serving veterans. During the same week of this makeover, she received a Gold Award, the highest honors a Girl Scout of America can receive, for helping fundraise and build a pavilion in the Strum Veteran Tribute Park. She saw a need and acted. She wanted there to be a place on holidays like Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day for veterans and people in service to gather without any weather-related conflicts.
Seeing her servitude and her father’s drive to do everything he can for his community, the city of Strum decided it was his turn. That’s why an entire town came together. The sense of camaraderie was unlike anything the cast and crew had ever experienced. People took off days of work to help, some weeks! Restaurants opened after hours to feed volunteers. The sheriff’s department helped shut down major roads to allow Military Makeover to record. Volunteers even arrived at the site earlier than asked with their sleeves rolled up ready to work. Rain or shine, people showed up to help!
This makeover not only blessed a family in need. It also connected people in this community that had never known of each other. Even veterans similar to Wojcik, who deal with the trauma of their memories from service, were encouraged by being a part of giving back to one of their own. It gave them new purpose—something we all need from time to time.
This makeover wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity and helping hands of our incredible partners. Thank you:
ABC Supply, Armitron, Caesarstone US, CASE Construction Equipment, DuPont, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp, General Electric, Goodman Manufacturing, Google/Nest, JDog Junk Removal, Kohl’s, Ledegar Roofing, LG Electronics, MyComputerCareer, Nexen Tire America, Philo, Planet Fitness, Root Insurance, Simon, Tarkett Flooring, The Dow Chemical Company, The Home Depot, Edvest College Savings Plan.
We can’t forget the other organizations, companies, and friends that donated their time, products, and services to make this makeover extra special. Thank you:
A-1 Express Rental center, All Other Stuff Grills Pools and Other Stuff, American Legion, American Legion Riders, Anduzzis, Barnett Crossbows, Bernatello’s Foods, Blade Millworks, Cardinal Manufacturing, Caribou Coffee, Country Seamless Gutters, C.S. Construction Home Improvement & Remodeling, Down to Earth Garden Center , Dropzone Septic, Eau Claire County Sheriff Department, First Supply LLC, Freedom Flag & Pole, Girl Scouts of the USA, Legion Riders, L & W Supply, LEDEGAR Roofing, Norandex, NutcakerZ, ServiceMaster Chippewa Valley, Squeege Squad of Western Wisconsin, Subway, Trend Stone Surfaces, VFW, VFW Ladies Auxiliary and the generosity countless others.
Strum, WI: MISSION COMPLETED! As you were.