When it comes to helping injured veterans find homes, Josh Duhamel is on board.
“I’ve always sort of been tied to the military in some form,” Duhamel, 43, exclusively tells PEOPLE of why he chose to join the #EnlistMe campaign. “Whether it’s through family, I lived right near an Air Force base growing up. My aunt was a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard, my grandfather was a Marine. It was just always part of my life.”
He adds, “Just as an American, I feel like we want to try do whatever we can to help. When these men and women are coming home, they will make life accommodating or just to help them get acclimated back to regular life as much as possible.”
The campaign, in partnership with Building for America’s Bravest and GMC, will raise funds and awareness to provide severely injured veterans with homes that are designed to meet their needs.
“What we’re trying to do is raise awareness and raise as much money as we can to build more houses,” explains Duhamel. “Right now, there’s 44 houses that have been built or are in the process of being built. There’s over 200 service men and women who are on the list. We’re trying to enlist people to un-list, to take names off that list so that all of these severely injured veterans have a smart home or have a place to live a normal life.”
In celebration of the campaign, Duhamel attended as injured veterans – including Todd Love and Stephen K. Valyou – completed a skydive in Paris, California, on May 5.
“It’s truly inspiring to see how somebody who has been through so much, I mean can you imagine loosing three of your limbs and still having a positive outlook?” the actor said. “These guys do. There’s something really inspiring about hanging around these guys. It’s really been an honor for me.”
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As parents, Duhamel said he and Fergie think it’s “imperative” to teach their 2-year-old son, Axl Jack, the importance of getting involved and giving back.
“We want to raise a kid who has compassion and kindness in his heart and who wants to do the right thing,” he said. “I would rather show him than tell him what to do and hopefully someday he’ll give back.”
With Duhamel working on a couple films and Fergie on tour, the duo has quite the summer ahead.
“This will be the first time we’ve dealt with her touring and me working and having a child, but you know, if there’s anything that we’re good at, especially Ferg, it’s organizing and scheduling stuff,” he said. “So we’ll be fine. So it’s going to be a busy summer but it’ll be exciting.”