NKY family gets home makeover in honor of fallen soldier - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

NKY family gets home makeover in honor of fallen soldier


The family of a fallen soldier is now living in their renovated Northern Kentucky home thanks to the generosity of scores of volunteers and craftsmen.

The project comes courtesy of some of the same people who refurbished the Keith Maupin house.

This home makeover was dedicated to the memory of U.S. army specialist Russell Madden who was killed in Afghanistan five years ago.

Russell's father, Marty grew up in this house, but in recent years health problems have prevented him from keeping up with repairs.

However, Madden says help literally came knocking. “There was a knock at the door and it was Mr. Barrett,” said Madden. 

“He had asked us if there was anything we needed, continued Madden. "We told him maybe a bathroom makeover.”

After surveying the situation, Barrett decided the entire home needed a makeover.  The Madden's were then put up in a hotel and their furniture put into storage.

Then, for five months, an army of volunteers and craftsmen went to work installing new flooring, appliances and fixtures.

Barrett spent countless hours recruiting more than 90 contractors and got more than 100-thousand dollars worth of materials donated.

He said it's the least he can do for those who've given so much.  “I do this for the families. The families are usually forgotten about. We try not to forget the men and women who serve and give their sacrifice, give their life for our freedom.” 

The Madden's have seen the progress over the past few months, but were awestruck at the unveiling Saturday. 

Volunteers and suppliers were on hand Saturday afternoon to help the Madden's celebrate their newly renovated home which includes a backyard memorial for their son Russell.  

Marty Madden says he's humbled by the outpouring of support for the project. “ It was 1942 days ago that we lost our son and to see people out here working this and working day and night. Instead of going home after work they come here and do this for us.”

For all of Mike Barrett's efforts he has been honored with the title Kentucky Colonel.  Barrett says he’s going to take a break from home renovation for awhile to have back surgery, but told FOX19 NOW that he'll be thinking about his next project to help another family of a fallen soldier.  

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