click to make largerA few weeks ago Extreme Makoever: Home Edition was in town taping their Veterans Day Special. I really wanted to go but I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to deal with long lines trying to get in and all of that. I had to pick up my oldest son that day from school so I decided that if it didn't look to crazy I'd stay (they were taping at the high school) and if it was insane I'd just go back home. When I got there the lines didn't look too bad so I decided to stick around. Since I'm a Veteran, I got to go to the Veteran line which was much shorter. It was just Michael and I because Neil had wrestling practice and Kevin was home with Daniel and two girls who come to our house on Mondays and Wednesdays. I thought it would be a fun activity for Michael and I (who appreciates these types of things much more than the other two boys do). While we were waiting, someone from the show came out and asked if there were any Veterans with their families who were willing to go on stage and possibly be interviewed. I figured, why not? Maybe it would get us a closer seat and an opportunity to meet Ty!
Well it didn't get us any closer to the stage. In fact we moved like 4 times before we were settled in for the evening but we were in the back, not the front. They had already designated families to interview so we would only be going on stage but I thought that was pretty cool so we stuck around in our seats.
Taping a TV show is a long process. I have to admit I was starting to experience a little ADD. People around us were complaining they were hungry because we had been there for a couple hours. It was still fun though. We saw Ty and Paige from the show and Jewel was the special co-host. There were some baseball players there who I'm sure if I was a baseball fan, I'd know their names but I'm not so the names didn't stick. After re-doing a few shots and watching the process, one of the stage managers came out to get the group that would be going on stage.
We got to hang out in the hallway of the school and wait some more. It wasn't a totally boring experience because we chatted with each other and the stage manager who was really nice and funny.
After what felt like forever, we finally got to go on stage and it was really neat. Before going onstage, Michael told me he was nervous because he was going to be on TV. It was really cute. They had to do a couple takes with Ty and Jewel with us standing as their backdrop. They interviewed a few of the families and then we had a little excitement. As they were closing up that segment of the show, Michael suddenly appeared next to me. He was standing behind me the whole time. I thought he had stepped forward to say something to me but when I turned to look at him, I noticed that he had lost all color in his face. I quickly turned around, just as he started to go down. Everyone suddenly rushed to help and we all said almost in unison "he locked his knees". Poor Michael was embarrassed but Ty rushed off the stage and came back with some water. I apologized profusely but Jewel told me it was not big deal, "it happens all the time". We let Michael get his composure for a few while everyone stood staring at him and then when he felt like he could stand up, we helped him off the stage. As we walked off, everyone applauded.
The EMT's checked him out, gave him a coke and a box of wheat thins and he was fine. One of the first things they teach Soldiers when they go to Basic Training is not to lock your knees. That's why all the Veterans on the stage said, "he locked his knees" because we all know what happens when you stand forever you don't bend your knees...you go down.
We hung around backstage for a while filling out paperwork and waiting for a good time to go back in the auditorium and caught the last segment being filmed.
We finished off the evening getting to go on the bus where every opening is filmed. It was a pretty neat experience. I was disappointed that the day the show was aired, they only showed one of the families being interviewed because there were some great people sharing their experience. If you watch the show, you can actually see where Michael goes down in the background after the one interview they do air.
Overall, lots of fun and a great story to share with our future grandkids!