JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars have nominated seventh-year DT Malik Jackson for the NFL's Salute to Service Award presented by USAA, the club announced today. The Salute to Service Award annually recognizes NFL players, coaches, personnel and alumni who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community.
Jackson has a long history of supporting the military, especially in the northeast Florida community that is home to 150,000 veterans and 50,000 activity duty military and Department of Defense civilian personnel. Jackson's foundation, Malik's Gifts, specifically supports the military, at-risk youth and their families and pet adoption. Through Malik's Gifts, Jackson has led the charge in hosting multiple events designed to support the military and their families.
In advance of Veterans Day, Jackson partnered with Academy Sports + Outdoors in Jacksonville earlier this week to provide ten First Coast veterans with a shopping outing. The veterans were selected by Five Star Veterans Center, a residential transitional center for veterans experiencing homelessness in northeast Florida. Jackson has a long history with the organization, including a $5,000 commitment in 2018 to enhance the center's career division, adding new paint, office computers, webcams for Skype interviews, desks and chairs to aid in veterans' ability to build their resumes and apply for jobs. Jackson also surprised Five Star Veterans' CEO, Col. Len Loving USMC Ret., and his wife with a trip to Super Bowl LII in Minnesota last season in recognition of all they do to support veteran transition.
Jackson is in his third season with the Jaguars and has committed to supporting local military every year.
In June 2018, Jackson hosted a football camp for local kids from the First Coast military community at the Jaguars' indoor practice facility. He partnered with St. Michael's Soldiers, Survivor Outreach Services and the Florida National Guard Child and Youth Program, which selected more than 100 military and Gold Star children to participate in the event. All kids received a one-of-a-kind camp t-shirt, dinner and spent two hours learning football techniques from some of the NFL's best, including more than 10 of Jackson's teammates.
For the third consecutive season, Jackson will host "Movie Night with Malik" this November in partnership with the Jaguars Foundation and Florida Survivor Outreach Services. He'll welcome more than 150 guests including military children and their family members to a private movie screening of a new feature film. This event is dedicated to supporting military children and families facing injury, loss and deployment. Jackson will also continue his yearly participation in the team's annual Stars and Strikes Bowling event at Naval Station Mayport to bowl alongside more than 200 active duty members, their families and Jaguars teammates.
His generosity and love for the military also included sponsoring Gold Star Wives Day in 2017, providing a special night out for 50 spouses whose loved ones have passed in military duty. Jackson's $2,000 donation provided child care and dinner at a local restaurant for 50 Goldstar wives. In 2017, Jackson also provided military families who lost a loved one in service of their country an afternoon of horseback riding, wagon tours, fishing and other activities at the Diamond Ranch in Jacksonville. Jackson's goal was to enrich family time and peer support for grieving survivor families. Jackson's $10,000 donation enabled more than 200 military children and families to partake in the event.
Finalists for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA will be announced in January, and the recipient will be recognized at NFL Honors, a two-hour, prime-time awards special to air nationally on Feb. 2, 2019, the night before Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.