TAMPA, Florida -- On NFL Sundays, faces with war paint and fans wearing Bucs' colors are wide receiver Vincent Jaskson's captive audience, but away from the field it's little faces that key in on his every move and, more importantly, every word.
Jackson spends his off-the-field time reading to elementary school children, but not about football or the big battles he's won on the field. Instead, this former military kid along with his wife, Lindsey, have written a series of children's books called Danny Dogtags Adventures, focusing on helping military children cope with their mom or dads' deployment.
"Since Danny says to his dog that there is something strange with the deployment, it makes me think about my mom deployed," said second grader Ethan Scott.
"They really don't understand everything that's going on with it, you know. Dad's gonna be gone for a while or their mom is going to be gone for a while, but what we are trying to do is not make it a fun thing, but adaptable to and make it more relatable, so they understand what's going on," said Jackson.
This larger than life character has been a regular at Tinker Elementary School on MacDill Air Force Base. And lasting longer than the never washed again hands from Jackson's high fives are the lessons the "Danny Dogtags" character teaches.
"I could learn that parents can go away, but you can still have them in your hearts," said third grader Hailey Teasley.
"That's what the Jackson in Action 83 foundation is about, really focusing on that niche of military families and just providing support for them. So, for me, it's rewarding," said Jackson.
And for these kids, the stories are comforting, until the next time they see their mom or dad's smiling face.