Country star Jessie James Decker shares personal story on why she stands for the national anthem

For country singer Jessie James Decker, the debate over the national anthem protests is personal.

The reality television star, who is from a military family and is married to Tennessee Titans wide receiver Eric Decker, said singing “The Star Spangled Banner” is one of her “favorite things to do.”

In a video she posted online, the 29 year-old singer explained how the anthem makes her think about all the men and women who serve in the military as well as her own family.

One of my favorite things to do is sing the national anthem. I think about my dad, my uncles, my cousins, both grandfathers who fought in the Vietnam war. I think about how my grandfather paw paw Tim would ask me to sing this song for him every time I saw him and how he would make me turn the other way to sing it so he could just weep and cry as hard as he wanted because it meant so much to him. I think about all of our troops I got to visit with and spend time with in the Middle East when I went over seas to sing for them. I think about all of the men crying because they missed their wives so much, or the man telling me he hadn’t seen his baby girl yet since she was born. When I sing this song I think about them. This song is about them. It’s not about me. That’s what I think about every time I sing it. I love our country so much. And we should all love and respect each other because this is the greatest country in the world. I see the love. I see the unity in all walks of life on a daily basis and It makes me so proud to be an American….. so In the words of Forrest Gump. That’s all I have to say about that.

A post shared by Jessie James Decker (@jessiejamesdecker) on

“I love our country so much. And we should all love and respect each other because this is the greatest country in the world. I see the love. I see the unity in all walks of life on a daily basis and it makes me so proud to be an American,” Decker wrote.

She told “Fox & Friends” that she has been around the military her whole life, with her father being a general in the United States Air Force and her grandfather and uncles serving as well. She shared that her grandfather, who served during the Vietnam War and has since passed away, used to ask her to sing the national anthem each time he saw her.

But he would ask that she turn her back to him so she would not see him cry.

“As soon as he was done, he’d wipe his tears and pat me on the back and go, ‘Thanks, baby,’ and then move on,” Decker said. “And that was it. He just wanted a good cry and to just feel those emotions.”

As the wife of a football player, Decker weighed in on the debate over NFL players standing or kneeling during the national anthem, saying that she had always stood  and “never knew it meant anything else.”

“What the anthem means to me may be different than what it means to others,” she said. “So, for me, I like to stand. That’s just what it means to me.”

Starring with her family in the reality series, “Eric and Jessie,” the mother of two had also posted a video this week announcing she is expecting her third child.

The couple married in 2013 and have a three year-old daughter, Vivianne, and a two-year-old son Eric Jr. The 30 year-old veteran receiver signed with the Titans in June this year after being released by the Jets.

Recently, Rep. Diane Black made it known she would not be attending any Tennessee Titans games in her home state until NFL players stand for the national anthem.

The Republican congresswoman and chair of the House Budget Committee, who also announced she will be running for Tennessee governor, said her seats at the games “will remain empty” until respect for the flag is shown by players.

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