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In this episode of The Turquoise Table, host Kristin Schell speaks with Maria Reed, founder of the home improvement television show Moving with the Military. Maria’s mission is to bridge the military-civilian divide through design and community building. Kristin and Maria discuss the unique hardships military families face and how the community can welcome them with open arms.
To begin, Maria shares her background and her own experiences being in a military family. She was born in Cuba and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She worked for many years in the film industry as a producer. However, during this time she dated long-distance and fell in love with her military husband. To her surprise, soon after they were married her husband deployed, and she found out she was pregnant. 17 years and five moves later, her love for the film industry continued with her. She then formed the idea for her television show, Moving with the Military, from her own life experiences raising a military family.
Maria describes the fear that comes with starting life over every time her family moved. Sometimes, she would barely leave her house and often felt paralyzed. She shares a story of making friends with another military wife. Now she can find excitement and positive experiences from moving. While there are struggles for military families to build community, Kristin and Maria agree that the Turquoise Table has been a great resource for military families to find a sense of place in their community.
With the growing number of military families living outside military bases, Maria saw a need for home makeovers and her television show. Maria is in charge of the difficult task of choosing a military family for a makeover through the submission of stories and nominations. From backyards to bedrooms, the show has completed 27 makeovers in three years. With the work of her show, she encourages civilians to be a part of the lives of military families that live around them. Maria also describes the purpose of DIY nights within the communities and is coming out with a cookbook, The Military Melting Pot, as a way to meld families together.
Her biggest tip to civilians is to reach out to military families in their neighborhood and be in community with one another.
Learn more about Maria Reed and Moving with the Military on her website.
Submit a nomination of a military family for a Moving with the Military home makeover.
Find out more about hosting your own DIY Community Building event.
Learn more about Maria’s recipes and Military Melting Pot.
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