Cox: ‘I loved every minute’ of time in the Air Force

Honoring All Who Served

A soldier directs a chopper pilot in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in 1969.

U.S. Army photo CC 45191 [1] from the U.S. Army center of Military History website

A soldier directs a chopper pilot in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in 1969.

Master Sgt., USAF (RET)

Rank: Master Sergeant, (E-7)

Dates of Services: 1961-1982

United States Air Force

Medals and Commendations:

AF Presidential Unit Citation, AF Meritorious Unit Award, AF Outstanding Unit Award, AF Overseas Service Award, Military Training Instructor Ribbon, AF Good Conduct Medal

Immediately after graduation from Mohave County Union High School in 1961, Jim joined the United States Air Force to begin a 21 year career.

Upon completion of basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas, Jim was assigned to Chenault AFB, Lake Charles, La., as a crash and rescue firefighter.

Other assignments followed to Davis Monthan AFB, in Tucson, where he met and married his wife, April. Within a couple of years Jim and his family were assigned to Eielson AFB in Fairbanks, Alaska, and returned to the Lower 48 to Charleston AFB in South Carolina.

Soon after, Jim was selected for drill sergeant duties at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas, where basic training remains for all new airmen joining the Air force.

Jim served as a drill sergeant for five years and received orders to support the Vietnam conflict in Southeast Asia, reporting to Udorn, Thailand, for a one-year remote tour without his family.

After the tour in Southeast Asia, Jim returned to Lackland AFB and his duties as a drill sergeant. Within a few years, he was assigned to another one-year remote tour out in the Aleutian Range of Alaska.

It was in 1982 when Jim and April decided he would retire from the Air Force and build a permanent nest for their family.

When family, friends, and associates say to Jim, “Thanks for your service” he always responds by saying, “Thanks, and I would do it again as I loved every minute of it, and God Bless America!”

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