SSG (Ret.) Ross Cox*, USA
After floating between college and various jobs, Ross was feeling directionless and dispassionate. He had divorced from his wife and did not know what to do when his life, when a friend suggested he join the Army. His father was in the Army and his grandfather was in the Air Force in WWII, so he decided to enlist, and did so April 2001. By that August, he was in basic training. After basic training, he and his wife remarried, and have now been married for 12 years and have 4 children: Peyton, Brennan, Hope & Asher.
On his first deployment, Ross was the first of 28 conventional ground force soldiers in Afghanistan, and he returned April of 2002. He was home for 18 months, during which time his second child was born. He deployed again to Afghanistan in 2003 as an infantry fire team leader, where his unit actively engaged with the Afghan people and even helped establish an educational system. He returned in 2004, and thereafter, decided to take a break and go into recruiting for a period, during which time he and his wife had 2 more children. His last deployment was in 2011 when he was made a Platoon Sergeant.
November 15, 2011, he was on dismounted patrol looking for key points of interest. There were 20 soldiers walking in a straight line in front of him when he stepped on an IED. Tourniquets were put on both legs and his left arm. He remained conscious. Ross's left leg was amputated, and his right has a 10 inch rod in it, and his left arm has significant nerve damage.
The Cox family is very close. Ross's wife stays home to be his caregiver, as well as to home school their children.