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Michelle Obama Shows Off 'Limited' Handy Skills on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

09/24/2011 at 03:20 PM EDT

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: Michelle Obama Pitches In
Michelle Obama and Ty Pennington on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Randy Sager/ABC
Like millions of their fellow Americans, the First Family often gathers around the television on Sunday nights to watch ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team create livable homes for families in need. Such a fan of the show, First Lady Michelle Obama couldn't resist jumping in and helping out on the Sept. 25 season premiere.

"This particular show is especially moving because it features Barbara Marshall, a Navy veteran, who despite her own struggles opened her home to serve homeless female veterans in her community," Obama tells PEOPLE. "She's an amazing example of the strength, values and service of America's veterans."

The First Lady traveled on location to Fayetteville, N.C., to help Ty Pennington and his crew with the build. While she admits, "My handy skills are limited," Obama contributed by helping to hang plaques – part of a design project that pays tribute to all of the female veterans who have passed through Marshall's home. She also lent a hand with some gardening in the back yard.

Best of all, she had a bird's eye view when it came time for the big reveal and to chant the show's famed slogan, "Move that bus!"

The biggest honor, Obama says, was "to be a part of an event so life-changing for such a deserving person. [Marshall] is a prime example of an American veteran who continues to serve her community with everything she has. I hope lots of people will be inspired by her story to give back to their communities – especially to service members and their families."

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's two-part season 9 premiere airs Sunday (7 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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