Military Family Helped Jackson Learn to Adapt

Vincent Jackson arrived in Tampa in March, quickly scoped out what was expected of him and what he needed to do to meet those expectations, then simply went to work.  It’s a process he’s been through before, even though this was the first time had switched NFL teams.

You see, Jackson was a self-described “military brat” as a child, and he is thus well-practiced at adapting to a new home and a new environment.  With two parents in the U.S. Army, he was born in Louisiana, spent a year in Arizona, lived in Germany for three years and spent his his teenage days in Colorado before heading off to college at Northern Colorado.

“I was used to moving around, having to be the new kid in school, things like that,” said Jackson.  “So coming here I knew what to do – just keep quiet, do your job, go about your business the right way and you earn the respect through your actions.  So I wasn’t coming in here to be a guy that’s going to be rah-rah and, ‘Hey look at me, I’m the new kid.’  No, I just come in here and earn the respect by just the way I do my work, and from there on relationships are building.”

Obviously, Jackson had no trouble earning the respect of his new teammates – he was voted by them to be a team captain before the start of his first Buccaneer season.  He’s been extremely productive, as he’s on pace for 1,400 yards and a dozen touchdowns, and that has obviously drawn him a lot of attention, from fans across the nation and from opposing defenses.  That attention was bound to come, whether he sought it or not.

“That’s the way I was raised,” he said.  “You don’t have to be noticed at all times.  I don’t need all the attention on me.  For me it’s about team – team first, and whatever I can do to help this team, help this organization, help it grow in this community, that’s what I want to be a part of.”

Jackson is quickly putting down roots in the Bay area community, at least as much as an Army brat ever can.  He is starting his own foundation and focusing it on aid to the military.  That makes this weekend’s game particularly enjoyable for him, and not because his former team is coming to town. In recognition of Veterans’ Day, the Buccaneers are packing Sunday’s game with a long list of Salute to Service events and flourishes.

“My foundation is kind of doing its launch this month,” said Jackson, who credits his exposure to different people and cultures during his childhood travels with making him a well-rounded individual.  “We’re talking about what we’re trying to do with the troops overseas and their families.  It’s exciting.  San Diego had a great military base out there as well, but I just could never really find something I wanted to be attached to.

“I was coming here ready to jump in head first.  I’ve been so embraced by this community and this organization and I couldn’t be happier.  There are so many things going on – obviously, football first, and that’s going well.  And there are so many opportunities off the field with my organization and other opportunities in this community.  I couldn’t be happier.  My family loves it here and I think this is going to be a great place to continue my career.”

3 comments on “Military Family Helped Jackson Learn to Adapt

  1. Joyce Baughman on said:

    I can’t say enough good about this guy, Vincent Jackson. He is the epitome of what fans want to see from their players. He is extremely skilled at his position, has all the tools to do an outstanding job, has a positive attitude and influence, has a work ethic that is second to none, and in every regard is a team player. His behavior off the field is exemplary too. Everyone should be proud to call him a Buccaneer. We may have paid a lot to obtain his services, but he has been worth it and much more than I ever imagined. It is gratifying to know how much he has contributed to those around him.

  2. Richard Kelly on said:

    Great season so far. The important thing you are doing is supporting our Military. They protect us and then we can enjoy the freedoms such as watching the Bucs win football games.
    Go Bucs
    Bucs & Bulls Heaven

  3. flashgordon on said:

    I’ve felt that I’m a fan of this guy before he was a Buccaneer. I’ve always been a general overall football fan; i have my homebase team; but, I’m a fan of many players going from college to other teams; but, anyways, I remember at least quietly feeling that the Chargers were too skeptical of the guy; i’d here their worries, and I was like b.s. I’m very glad he’s a Buccaneer now; now, knowing he’s a military brat, and hearing some of the positive things he feels came from being a military brat, now I’m even more of a Vincent fan.

    I was primarily a Navy brat; shoot, I was born while my father pretty much settled on the Navy; but, he was drafted for Vietnam; didn’t go far; i think he was off the coast; then, he joined the airforce, and then the Navy. I went to Virginia, Maryland(Washington D.C. area; my mother took me to hike up and down Washington D.C every weekend; all the museums, the Library, the white house/congress building you name it . . . every weekend for two years!), Whitier Los Angeles(whitier might be spelled wrong), Sicily(it’s the football to the Italian peninusula boot), New Mexico, then San Diego!

    Germany ha? Well, one of the remarkable facts I’ve learned about Germany lately, is they are consistently amongs the most peacefull crime free nations in the world! With a population of over two hundred thousand Jews!

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