The NFL’s Salute to Service is personal to Jaron Brown.
The Seahawks receiver says he learned to attack defenses with precision from his father, who served 20 years in the U.S. Navy.
“There was a lot more discipline in our household, that’s for sure,” he said. “We were pretty good kids for the most part, so we didn’t give our parents too much trouble. But, that discipline, some of that I carry today.”
The Seahawks will include more than 150 active service members and military veterans in the pregame and halftime ceremonies tonight when they host the Packers at CenturyLink Field.
For Brown, his older brother and their parents, being in a military family meant moving all over the world.
From Puerto Rico, where Jaron was born. To Naples, Italy. California. Virginia. Then back to South Carolina.
“I enjoyed it, because it gave me an opportunity to move around,” Brown said. “I got an opportunity to live in some unbelievable places. Me and my brother were always together, so, it was OK.”
Brown says the experience gave him an appreciation for the military service members and their families that he carries with him today.
“It’s a huge sacrifice,” he said. “The wives as well. I remember my dad being deployed for six-to-nine months at a time. Just being my brother and my mom, so. I think it’s a stress factor there, but, it’s definitely important.”
Brown said his father’s deployments provided him and his brother a sense of responsibility at an early age.
“We felt like the men in the house,” he said. “We both felt like we were the protectors of the house.”
The key to making it work, Brown said, is supporting each other.
“Just continue to be strong for your family while your mom or dad’s away,” he said. “At the same time, just understand that you may have to get up and move other places. It’s just part of their job. And just try to be supportive.”
It’s a mindset that served him on the football field.
Brown won state titles as a high school junior and senior in Cheraw, South Carolina.
Despite playing four years at Clemson, he was not drafted.
Still, the Arizona Cardinals saw something in Brown that he says he draws from his dad’s experience in the military.
“Football wise, try to be a disciplined route runner, get my correct depth and everything,” he said. “When I’m running routes. In life, I’ve kind of taken some of those same values I was raised on and raise my daughter as well.”
That’s what means the most to Brown: His family.
His wife and daughter. His mother and brother. His father who served for so many years.
That’s why Brown says events such as the Seahawks’ Salute to Service are important.
“I think it’s great that the NFL is bringing awareness and everything,” he said. “I think it’s important that people acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifice that they did for this country.”