BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A coast doctor received huge national recognition on Tuesday from the Department of Defense. This comes after over 30 years of practice in South Mississippi.
Dr. Joe Jackson has overcome tremendous obstacles, including nearly losing his life in a plane crash, and has come back and made a huge difference in his patient's lives. Dr. Jackson is a practicing neurologist, specializing in pain management; and board certified psychiatrist; who has used both traditional and holistic medicine to help his patients through the years. And now Jackson is getting recognized for for another achievement. It turns out he's also making a difference in his employees lives.
Dr. Jackson is receiving national recognition from the Department of Defense. He's is one of 30 finalists out of nearly 3,000 nominees from around the country to be selected a Freedom Award finalist. It's the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.
State chair with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Jack Wallace, presented the award at Dr. Jackson's Biloxi office. Wallace told the crowd of supporters that the recognition "shows Dr. Jackson is one of the few employers who is really patriotic in what you do with the Guard."
SP4 Christopher Goff, a medical assistant in the office, nominated Jackson for the award. "The office has always supported me in my military work; it has never been an issue."
Dr. Jackson says supporting the military is all in a days work and he wouldn't run his office any other way. In fact, he humbly stated, "We don't think we have done much of anything. We would hope everyone would want to contribute and then some; because the Guard is very important." Jackson went on to say, "If we're not going to support the Guard and the military who's going to defend us? We don't feel like we deserve an award but we appreciate it."
Jackson's office manager, Betty Mathews, says Dr. Jackson's practice is a "family oriented one, and we all help each other out." She says that includes employees and patients in the office.
Tuesday's recognition is already a significant accomplishment that could go even further. Wallace says five of the 30 finalists, still to be announced, will be selected to receive the Freedom Award at a ceremony at the Pentagon. And Dr. Jackson is still in the running for that. Among the other 30 finalists being considered, along with Dr. Jackson, are businesses that include the Walt Disney Company.