Welcome to “The Horse’s Mouth” with Tom McManus, a cool, unique talk show where Tom’s guests sidle up to his bar to discuss sports, business and life. Today, Tom sat down with Demika Jackson and Bruce Thompson from the Jacksonville Veterans Chamber of Commerce.

Demika Jackson is the president of the Jacksonville Veterans Chamber of Commerce. The mission of the Jacksonville Veterans Chamber of Commerce is to holistically enrich the lives of our nations transitioning military, veterans, and their families across a wide spectrum, of needs under our five pillars of support: Business, Employment, Education, Wellness, and Family.

This episode of “The Horse’s Mouth” is sponsored by The Fire Watch, Northeast Florida’s fight to end veteran suicide. They are uniting our War Fighters and allies to swiftly activate local assets, stand watch, and build a life-saving network. To date, no city, county, or state has systemically reduced its veteran suicide rate. This effort is the first of its kind in the country. To learn more, visit https://www.thefirewatch.org

What branch of service were you in and for how long?: US Army (1999-2004; 2004-2011)

After your service ended, how did you spend your time? Did you go back to school? Immediately enter the private sector?: Continued education, veteran advocacy and nonprofit sector.

What has been your career after your service came to an end?: Program Management/Nonprofit Management/Advocacy

Are you a member of any veteran organizations? If so which ones?: The Women’s Army Corp, The Mission Continues, Duval County Veterans Council, The Wounded Warrior Project, Veterans Institute of Procurement

Was there anything or anyone that helped you during the transition from military to civilian life?: My spiritual relationship with God.