Josh Duhamel celebrates Memorial Day by helping veterans – Stars and Stripes

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LOS ANGELES — Before starting work on the next “Transformers” film, Josh Duhamel is lending his star power to help disabled veterans.

Duhamel is supporting a campaign that provides smart homes for injured American veterans, and he’s encouraging others to do the same. The 43-year-old actor appears in a video that shows how the #EnlistMe effort restores independence to injured veterans by building wheelchair-accessible homes with high-tech digital features.

“My aunt was deployed to the Balkans, into Iraq, my grandfather was a World War II vet,” Duhamel said. “Having met a lot of these veterans, Navy SEALs, all kinds of special-ops guys over the last several years working, I really took an interest and really started learning more about what these guys really go through, especially when they come back.”

Besides helping injured servicemen and women, Duhamel said it’s important to model philanthropic behavior for his 2 ½-year-old son, Axl. (Mom is Duhamel’s wife, Fergie, of the Black Eyed Peas.)

“The challenge in raising a kid in LA, you know with two parents who — we’ve literally come from nothing, my wife and I,” Duhamel said. “And I want him to sort of understand that and respect that and understand the importance of not only money, but respect and compassion and kindness and all those kinds of things.”

Duhamel said the terrible twos haven’t been too challenging. He describes Axl as a “spirited little dude” and “a really sweet-natured kid.” Duhamel and Fergie share parenting duties and try to plan their schedules so that one of them can always be at home.

While Duhamel is beginning work on the fifth “Transformers” film, “The Last Knight” (due in 2017), Fergie is readying her second solo album, “Double Dutchess.”

“She is releasing this album, which I’m told is going to be in like 10 days, but I’m not saying anything,” Duhamel said. “But yeah, there’s going to be that whole release and then the beginning of next year she’ll be touring, so it’s good. One of us will be home, one of us will be gone and we’ll meet. That’s the plan. Who knows? We’re making it up as we go!”

The whole family had three days off for Memorial Weekend, he said.

“Wifey has been gone for about two weeks. So we’ll spend a lot of time together this weekend. … Just raves and dance clubs,” he joked, adding that little Axl is “huge (into) EDM.”

Josh Duhamel celebrates Memorial Day by helping veterans – Stars and Stripes