Many times the offseason focus in the NFL is on player behavior off the field. We lose sight of the cool things players do for communities, like Buccaneers wideout Vincent Jackson, who recently published a children's book for military families.
Jackson, himself the son of two military parents, and wife hosted 80 kids with military parents and showed off their first book, Danny Dogtags: Dealing with Deployment, back in June.
It was a particularly relevant book coming shortly after Memorial Day and remains relevant now with the Fourth of July upon us. It's the sort of thing -- according to Betsey Fortlouis, executive director of Camp Corral, a free, summer camp for kids of wounded/disabled/fallen military service members -- which can shine a "high-profile" light on an oft-overlooked section of society.
"Given his status as a star NFL receiver, it's gratifying to see Vincent Jackson support other military children in such a high-profile yet personal way," Fortlouis told CBSSports.com. "Growing up with two parents who served in the United States Army, Jackson understands the challenges faced by children of deployed service members. His efforts are the sort of selfless act we hope will raise awareness for such an important group of people to those brave men and women who serve our nation."
All the proceeds from Jackson's book go to his Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, dedicated to helping the "educational, emotional and physical health" of children of military parents.
The book, specifically, tries to help children learn to deal with the emotions that come from missing a parent or parents because of military service.
"It's about being good citizens," Jackson said. "Not talking the 'woe is me' approach to it. Being sad is OK. It's OK being open with your emotions, but how can you turn that into positives."
At their foundation's recent event, Jackson and his wife Lindsey read to the kids (see above, via Buccaneers.com) after working with them on the field.
"We sat down, we wrote it together," Lindsey said. "We edited together. We sent it to the publishers together. We went to the meetings with the Bucs together. So it's been a true labor of love.
"Our name isn't just stamped on it. It's really our book from our heart."