As we take pause to remember those that have fought and died for our country, we also take a look at Buccaneers’ receiverVincent Jackson
, a man who honors these men and women every day.
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As the son of not one, but two military parents, Vincent Jackson has made it his responsibility to use the platform he has – that of a professional athlete – to give back to other military families. Jackson started the Jackson In Action 83 Foundation in November of 2012, making it his goal to create support, including education and the mental and physical health, for the children of military families.
One of the first things Vincent Jackson did after launching the foundation was purchase 250 ticket to local Tampa Bay sporting events to give strictly to military families, allowing them an opportunity to spend a day together at a game as a thank you from him. In 2013, Jackson went on a USO tour, visiting eight military bases in five days, along side former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling and fellow NFL star Peyton Manning. It was also in 2013 that Jackson teamed up with the Lightning to create Military Night and launched his annual Jackson In Action 83 Foundation Golf Tournament. The Tournament, which garners appearances from NFL players to actors to Generals, is one of the biggest JIA83 events each year.
In 2014, Jackson and his wife, Lindsey, published their first children’s book, Danny Dogtags: Dealing with Deployment, with all proceeds going to the foundation. Jackson also launched a $2,500 scholarship awarded to a military depended student at his alma mater Widefield High School in Colorado Springs.
The Jacksons recently began hosting an annual Military Moms Baby Shower, where they invite 40 expectant mothers whose husbands are deployed, and they give them an extravagant baby shower complete with $50,000 worth of items given away. Each mom was given $1,100 worth of merchandise then $3,500 worth of items given away in a raffle, including cribs, bedding, gift cards, and other items. This is an amazing gesture to these mothers who are struggling with becoming a parent while their spouse isn’t there to be part of such a special moment.
In 2016, Vincent Jackson was invited to the NFL Honors award banquet as the recipient of the Salute To Service award, which awards $25,000 in the recipient’s name to aid all five military branches. Jackson was also nominated by the Buccaneers – for a third year in a row – as the Walter Payton Man of the Year for his dedicated military service.
The work that Jackson is doing for military families, and in the Tampa community, is one of the biggest reasons he is so beloved in the area. If you would like to help Vincent and Lindsey in their cause, you can do so here, and you can feel good knowing that you’re helping military families on this special Memorial Day weekend. You can donate or purchase JIA83 merchandise and proceeds from those go towards the foundation.
So on this day where we salute the fallen heroes of our nation, we at the Pewter Plank would also like to take the time to salute Vincent Jackson and his ongoing work with military families, families to be, and the young children with military upbringings. Thank you, to all of the above, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.