Virginia military family gets holiday home makeover

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Twins McKenna and Adelina dance next to their new Christmas tree in the basement (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
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The entire family together in their new basement in Alexandria. (Megan Cloherty/WTOP News)
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Operation Homefront also provided Christmas decorations and incorporated a family heirloom nativity scene into the holiday design. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
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Pictures were taken of the family and framed in the new basement by Operation Homefront. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
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November 29, 2019 | (wtopstaff)
WASHINGTON — A military family in Alexandria is getting a big surprise ahead of Christmas. Before their father deploys, Operation Homefront is giving them a home makeover. Army service member Brandon, who asks we don’t use his last name for security reasons, is about to deploy to Germany. But before he does, he gets to enjoy some time with his family of nine free of the burden of a looming basement renovation. “It relieves me a lot knowing that it’s all finished. She doesn’t have to worry about it,” Brandon says. His wife, Jennifer, is his partner in crime when it comes to fixing up their 1950s home. She admits, she’s been working on the basement for a while trying to create a comfortable space for their six kids and her adopted sister. Operation Homefront approached the family offering to makeover their basement, but the family didn’t know what that makeover entailed. “It’s excitement and shock because I didn’t expect as much as I got. I just thought maybe they’d do some repairs, put some carpet down, and we got so much more,” he says. The basement has new carpet, recessed lighting, is repainted and furnished with new electronics and a homework area for the kids. “I love the decorations. I like what they did with the pictures on the wall,” says 14-year-old Abigayle as she looks around the refinished room. The eldest of the brood, Abi says having more space for their large family makes each day a little easier. “It’s a really big deal. When we all try to do our homework at the same time, it usually ends up on the table or we’re spread out on the floor. But now we have a desk area and extra seating,” she says. It’s space that is much appreciated. Normally, Brandon’s family would join him for his 2-year deployment to Germany. However, given that some of his children have health needs, they’ll stay at home in Alexandria while he’s gone. “What happens in deployments is things break and break down as soon as dad walks out the door, so this is a preemptive strike,” says Cyndi Lucas with Operation Homefront. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/wtopnews”>WTOP on Facebook.

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