By Colleen Flaherty
Fort Hood Herald
It took just one week in December for the crew of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" show - plus several thousand local volunteers - to build a home for Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler, who was critically wounded during the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting on post, and his then-fiancee, Jessica Hansen.
It took a lot longer for the episode to air, but the wait is over. The Zeiglers, who were wed on the night of the show's famed "big reveal," will share their story with the world on Sunday.
The episode will air at 7 p.m. in Texas on ABC.
Ventriloquist Terry Fator and comedian Dane Cook. who performed at Fort Hood during filming, will appear.
The project began in early December, when thousands of volunteers converged on Salado to make possible the construction of the 2,800-square-foot-house on Hester Way in 106 hours. Professional builders, lay community volunteers and dozens of soldiers from the 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, in addition to other Fort Hood personnel, worked round-the-clock through Dec. 12 to ready the home for the Zeiglers, who were married on post that morning.
Down a flag-lined Hester Way that afternoon, the Zeiglers passed thousands of spectators, volunteers, friends and family in a white Rolls-Royce to see their new home for the first time.
Sgt. Zeigler wore his dress blue uniform, and Mrs. Zeigler wore an ivory gown and blue shawl.
A wedding reception on the Zeiglers' property followed.
An email to the Mrs. Zeigler went unanswered last week, but during a press conference following the shoot in December, she said she was excited to unpack.
"I can't even put into words what this means to us," she said.
"Everyone has been so kind and welcomed us to this community. With this new home we can have a safe beginning together."
At the conference, Sgt. Zeigler briefly spoke about the moment they were notified by the "Extreme Makeover" team that they had been selected as recipients. "They were hiding in the back of a couple of Bradley fighting vehicles," Zeigler said. "We weren't at home. So we were very surprised when they jumped out the back."
Herald reporter Andy Ross contributed to this report.
Contact Colleen Flaherty at email@example.com or (254) 501-7559. Follow her on Twitter at KDHfeatures.