It should come as no surprise that one of Arthur Moats' mentors is his father, Arthur Moats Jr., a former pastor and United States Marine. He is the man who taught him about values, character, discipline, giving back and much more.
"From him I always got the whole mentality of no matter how bleak a situation is, you are going to persevere and come out on top," said Moats.
Pittsburgh Steelers Arthur Moats, Stephon Tuitt and Alejandro Villanueva visited with veterans at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.
It's that giving back part that Moats does on a regular basis, especially when it comes to the military. He understands the sacrifice they make, and is always the first one to volunteer when it comes to activities that involve the military.
That is why Moats is the Steelers nominee for the Salute to Service Award, presented by USAA. The annual award recognizes players, coaches, personnel and alumni who have a strong commitment to honoring the military community. The finalists for the award will be announced in January, and the recipient will be recognized during the NFL Honors show on Feb. 3.
"Those in the military mean a lot to me," said Moats. "They provide us the safety that we need to live our everyday lives. I don't even think about it just for my safety, but for my wife and kids. They protect us from everything, from enemies foreign and domestic. They are making the ultimate sacrifice. These people go to different countries for sometimes years with their deployments, and sometimes they don't come back. These are things you don't take for granted and that is why I have the utmost respect for everybody in the service."
Moats joined some of his teammates at a visit to the VA Hospital in Pittsburgh, spending time with them, and truly listening to their stories, what they have been through, and giving them a true sense of how much their service is appreciated.
Cortez Allen, Alejandro Villanueva, Arthur Moats, James Harrison, David DeCastro and Greg Warren visit Brandon Myers at the VA hospital in La Jolla, CA.
"It was a great thing to be able to go there and communicate with the veterans and have that one on one time with them and let them know that we genuinely care about them," said Moats. "My father was a Marine, so it holds a spot near and dear to my heart. Any time you are able to come over and uplift them, put a smile on their face and just hang out with them it's a great feeling.
"They say we watch you, we look up to you. They are the real heroes. I told them we appreciate everything you do, the sacrifices you make so we can live in a country where we are safe and don't have to be scared. We have the utmost respect for them."
He was among a group of Steelers' players who visited injured Navy SEAL, Brandon Meyers at La Jolla VA Hospital. Meyers, who is a Pittsburgh native, was surprised and touched to have the players visit, something that served as a huge pick-me-up for him. The players came bearing gifts, but the best part of the visit for Meyers was just spending time talking to them about football.
It doesn't stop there. Moats was the first to raise his hand to help out when the Steelers surprised Staff Sgt. Michelle Satterfield of the United States Army with a new home through the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Moats went to the dedication celebration for the home, toured it with her, and spoke from the heart with his gratitude for her service to the country.
When he made a visit to 171st Air Refueling Wing at the Pennsylvania Air National Guard with teammates, it was hard to tell who was enjoying it more, Moats or the National Guard members. After signing autographs for those working at the base, he had a blast touring a KC-135 Stratotanker and then experienced a simulator where he had an opportunity to hook one plane up to another to refuel it, while teammates controlled the weather conditions.
Moats participated in a Salute to Service night at a local high school football game, visiting with a Korean War veteran.