The film is part of the #EnlistMe campaign -- a Military Appreciation Month partnership with Josh Duhamel, Building for America’s Bravest (BFAB) and automaker GMC. The goal of the campaign is to raise funds and awareness to build smart-homes that meet the needs of severely injured veterans, like Marine Sgt. Ben Tomlinson.
In this documentary-style film, Josh meets Marine Sergeant Ben Tomlinson at his specially designed smart-home in Jacksonville, Alabama, to speak with Ben and his family about their journey and the positive impact this home has had on his life. On his second tour of duty Ben was shot by enemy fire while providing rooftop security for his team. As a result, Ben was paralyzed with limited mobility below his chest.
Duhamel’s connection to the military began a long time ago. He grew up near an Air Force base in North Dakota, has an aunt who completed a number of tours with the National Guard and his grandfather was a proud Marine. In fact, Josh’s emotional visit with Ben and his family took place just after his grandfather was honored in a military funeral service.
Join GMC donate now at ourbravest.org/enlistme or call 844-BRAVEST
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About Building for America’s Bravest
Building for America’s Bravest, a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, aims to raise funds to build custom-designed, specially adapted homes for the most catastrophically injured American service members. To date, BFAB has delivered, started construction or is in the design stage of 44 smart homes for veterans and their families.
Todd Love, MARINE CORPS Hometown: Douglasville, GA Third generation Marine, Cpl. Todd Love was on patrol in Afghanistan on the morning of Oct. 25, 2010, when he triggered an improvised explosive device (IED). He lost both his legs and his left arm. After the injury, Todd says, “I’ve gained more than I’ve lost. People praying for me have been carrying my life. I’m not sure they realize the power of their prayers, but I feel honored and humbled that people can be closer to God because of me.” Despite his unique tenacity, his loss has carried irreversible consequences: “I’ve had to grow up. At the same time I have had to be like a little child. I’ve had to relearn everything and rely on others.” Todd’s struggles have not stopped him. He is currently working on his sky diving certification and is already a fully certified scuba diver. Todd says he is grateful that with one limb left he can still surf and play Bach’s Solfeggietto on the piano. Todd received his smart home in Douglasville, GA in the summer of 2014. Todd recently married Amanda Sullivan Love, on April 16th. The two met at physical therapy, and are both very athletic and regularly participate in the Spartan Race. Earlier this year they went hiking in El Yunque National Rainforest in Puerto Rico and said he didn’t think he’d be able to do it so well.
Stephen K. Valyou, ARMY Hometown: Millerton, NY After September 11, 2001, Stephen Valyou felt compelled to leave his duty as a firefighter and enlist in the US Army. He served two tours of duty, each time gaining new skills and passion for the work. In March 2007, while deployed in Iraq, Staff Sergeant Valyou was conducting Explosive Ordnance Disposal operations. While responding to a report of an IED, he was shot by a sniper. As a result, Stephen suffered a laceration to his liver, lung damage and is paralyzed from the waist down. Stephen is a loving husband and proud dad of two children. He enjoys helping out on his in-law’s farm, and hunting and fishing with his son. A smart home is currently being built for Stephen in Millerton, NY.