The Jacksonville Jaguars nominated sixth-year defensive tackle Malik Jackson for the NFL’s Salute to Service Award, the club announced Nov. 2. The Salute to Service Award, presented by USAA, acknowledges the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support U.S. service members, veterans and their families.
Jackson has a long history of supporting the military, especially in the Jacksonville community. His own foundation, Malik’s Gifts, supports military, at-risk youth and their families and pet adoption. Through the organization, Jackson has sponsored multiple events designed to support the military.
This year, Jackson committed $5,000 to Jacksonville’s Five Star Veterans Center, which provides safe and secure housing for displaced veterans facing homelessness and unemployment. His donation will specifically be used to enhance the center’s career division, adding new paint, office computers, webcams for Skype interviews, desks and chairs to aid veterans with building their resumes and applying for jobs.
Jackson also hosted Gold Star Wives Day, which honored 50 widows of service members who died while serving their country. Jackson’s $2,000 donation provided 50 Gold Star wives with dinner at a local restaurant and a special night out on the town.
For Memorial Day, Jackson gifted military families that lost loved ones in service of their country with an afternoon of horseback riding, wagon tours, fishing and other activities at the Diamond Ranch in Jacksonville. His goal was to enrich family time and peer support for grieving survivor families, and his $10,000 donation enabled more than 200 military children and their families to partake in the event.
This week, Jackson will be attending the Stars and Strikes bowling event at Naval Station Mayport to bowl alongside more than 200 active duty members, their family members and Jaguars teammates. In partnership with the Jaguars Foundation and Florida Survivor Outreach Services for Freedom, Jackson will also host a private movie screening for more than 150 military families at the Second Annual Movie Night with Malik to show support for military families facing injury, loss and deployment.
Jackson’s nomination for the Salute to Service Award is not his first recognition for his many community outreach initiatives. On Aug. 30, he also received the 2017 Jaguars Community Leadership Award at the team’s Back to Football Luncheon.