WWE Superstar Lacey Evans on Helping a Late Marine's Family Get a 'Military Makeover' With Montel Williams
Don’t let the tea time outfits and “Sassy Southern Bell” exterior of Lacey Evans fool you. The WWE superstar is tough as nails, even serving in the United States Marines Corps. She helped kick off season 19 of Military Makeover appearing alongside host and fellow veteran Montel Williams.
“Everyone were really taken aback because I think the average person that shows up to these things is in jeans and tennis shoes,” Evans said.
“I just wanted to have fun with it. I wanted to make everyone’s mood higher because in situations where you have families that have lost everything. You’ve got military members who gave the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives. Everybody is working so hard. I wanted to keep the spirits up and remind people this is a good thing we are doing. I was working hard in a set of high heels and showing what a lady can do.”
The crew of the heartwarming home improvement series joined volunteers to renovate the residence of Gold Star widow Cody Patron. Her home was severely damaged during Hurricane Michael in Panama City in 2018. Patron’s husband Sergeant Daniel J. Patron was killed eight years ago in Sangin Valley, Afghanistan. The fallen soldier earned The Purple Heart and The Bronze Star Medal for his heroic service. The story touched Evans, who has been through her share of family tragedy and is also a mother.
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“Life is hard regardless if you are military, a wife, mother, husband, father,” she said. “Families go through a lot physically, mentally, financially. Sometimes they don’t have the support they wish they did. I lost everything myself in a hurricane three years ago. I know what it feels like to be put in situations where you feel you’ve lost everything and given up hope. For her to have to go through one thing after another. Then to have not the community be there for her on such a large scale, I can only imagine it means the world to her. For me to take part in that and show what can happen if people follow their heart and give what they can and do what they can. It was just incredible.”
Evans was there during the renovation process, but due to travel, didn’t get to see what happened when the family returned to take in the finished product. She is looking forward to watching their first reactions with all the viewers. Though the 29-year-old got to spend some time with Williams.
“Montel Williams is very confident and outgoing. You can tell he cares for not only the people on the job site, but the veterans there sweating and tired from the work," Evans said. "This man is so motivating and caring and giving. There is a way he talks about the family we are doing this house for and what he stands for and why he is doing this. He is someone I definitely look up to.”
The sports entertainer is also no stranger to wood planks and hammers. She started a construction company with her husband while in the Marine Corps. They took part in renovations, roofing and building porches. Her late father was also in the field.
“My whole life I was raised around this, running it or having a part in it,” Evans said. “I actually still run a construction company in South Carolina.”
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A big benefit of being able to represent WWE is having the opportunity to help with their military outreach. She knows firsthand the impact the company’s efforts with its partners can have on individuals.Evans was there with Hire Heroes USA as they worked with with five veterans who needed assistance in securing a job and career. Not only did the organization provide makeovers from suits to shoes, they also put them into classes to learn how to fill out resumes and participate in interviews to be ready for the civilian workforce.
“Before joining WWE, I was coming out of the military. That is one of the scariest things,” Evans said. “For so long you are used to this way of life and have this career and job. Every day was planned. You go through college and this path. Then you’re getting out. It’s a whole different mindset as a veteran getting out. They have transition programs that try to help you going from active duty to being a civilian. It’s so intimidating because your whole life, you are expected to do a job and fit in and do pretty much the opposite of what you are used to doing. Going into WWE, the fact they are handson with veterans and the military, I was blown away.
In the ring, Evans continues to put all her efforts into improving and evolving as a performer. The Raw branded superstar feels she has gained a lot sharing the squared circle with the likes of Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch. Evans most recently appeared on SmackDown Live against Bayley.
“I’ve learend so much,” she said. “The thing is I don’t come from this line of work. I wasn’t a fan growing up. I just take it one day at a time. Between Extreme Rules and when I faced Bayley, I’ve gone so far, even as a technical wrestler and being able to learn from these women every day on all these tours. Just going out and doing match after match every week live. Then to come back, it’s more motivating than ever becuase I’ve gotten a lot of maches and training under my belt along women who have been doing this a long time. I love what I do and am excited to keep going.”
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The renovation for Military Makeover was made possible through generous donations and support from companies including The Home Depot and Goodman Manufacturing. Simon also provided a shopping experience for the Patron family at Potomac Mills.
Military Makeover premieres at 7:30/6:30c in the morning, August 30, Lifetime. All aired episodes can also be viewed on www.militarymakeover.tv