Many of Vincent Jackson's heroes have worn helmets -- either football helmets or Army helmets.
"I was born in Ft. Polk, Louisiana," explained the Buccaneers' star wide receiver. "We were right there on the base, with military housing, living off the commissary and BX."
Jackson's father retired from the Army. His mother also served for many years. As a little boy, Vincent saw the world as his parents served at different bases.
"We got to go to Italy and Spain and see all parts of Europe. It was quite an experience."
TEACHING WHAT HE KNOWS
Like many professional athletes, Jackson has started his own charitable foundation. Its focus comes squarely from Jackson's roots -- military families.
"I've been on the base and my dad has been gone for months and I saw the effect it had on my mom," he offered.
Since joining the Bucs last season, he's shared his experience with children whose parents face deployment. The Vincent Jackson Foundation and the Bucs hosted camps for military kids over the summer.
"I always talk to them about, 'Hey, how can you help Mom or Dad out? Can you take out the trash? Can you pick up after the dog? Can you make sure you keep your room clean? Get your homework done?' All those kinds of things that make them feel good about themselves and helps take a lot of stress off the parent as well."
NEXT GENERATION JACKSON
Jackson and his wife, an elementary school teacher, are working on the "Danny Dogtags" series of children's books for kids whose parents face deployment.
"I have so much respect and admiration for these troops that are out there laying it on the line and making the ultimate sacrifice. I know what their families go through as well. Sometimes, as much as we're always focusing on the troops, let's not forget about the families, and lets do something for them as well."
Jackson and his wife recently welcomed their first child. No doubt he'll hear stories about heroes with helmets.
For more information on the Vincent Jackson Foundation visit www.jacksoninaction83.org.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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