As someone who spent 10 seasons playing in the NFL, Derrick Dockery was constantly surrounded by cheers and appreciation from fans, and that support was something he'll always cherish.
Now, however, he's working to help bring that feeling to the homes of millions of soldiers and their families around the country.
Along with his wife, Dockery started an organization called Yellow Ribbons United eight years ago, with the goal of raising awareness and support for military members and their families. As the website states, "YRU creates awareness around the challenges that families of active duty and military veterans face."
The cause is one that hits close to home for Dockery and his family. Yellow Ribbons United was started in honor of his brother-in-law, and his wife Emma knows firsthand what it is like to grow up in a military family.
"Though it was my father who made the official oath to our country, it was ultimately the entire family's sacrifice," Emma Dockery wrote.
Through the organization, Dockery wants to help spread the word on the challenges that are faced by the whole family, and let people know that they are supported.
"The family is the backbone of the men and women who serve," Dockery said. "Anytime we can do something tangible to take something off a military family's plate. We are very honored to do that."
While being a part of a win in the NFL was a great feeling for Dockery, the work he now gets to do is incredibly rewarding as well. With each life he touches, he knows that a difference is being made.
"Being able to smile, faces of these families and children light up. That's what it's all about," Dockery said. "It really makes us feel good on the inside to know that hey, this is making a difference. We're having an impact on people's lives."
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