Jackson helps kids during homecoming

By Jason Beck
Updated: November 18, 2009

GEORGIA — For Tigers right-hander Edwin Jackson, a homecoming in Georgia takes on a little bigger meaning.

As a kid in a military family who was born overseas while his parents were in West Germany, Jackson knows about growing up on a base, the good and bad.

He knows the challenge of moving wherever the Army sent his family and trying to make new friends. His return to Fort Benning earlier this month was a way to give back.

Jackson traveled to the Army post earlier this month for more than a visit.

Along with his parents and Tigers legend Willie Horton, he conducted a baseball clinic for kids at the Child, Youth and School Services Sports Complex. He also took time to visit basic trainees.

The complex holds special meaning for Jackson, who played baseball and football there while growing up. It was there that he not only went to work on his game but picked up the instruction that helped make him a promising prospect.

According to The Bayonet, Fort Benning’s official news publication, the clinic included Jackson’s former coaches at the complex, John W. Peeler and Brian McCall.

“I saw talent,” McCall told The Bayonet. “With some kids you have to use redundancy, [but not with Edwin]. He picked up things quite quickly, and he would run with it. I would use him as a peer instructor to help the other players.”

Jackson was back in an instructor’s role on this day, but he tried to take in more of the experience. He ate lunch at the mess hall with basic trainees of the 198 Infantry Brigade, and he took part in a question and answer session.