Staff Sergeant Nathan Cox
Nathan Cox was born on September 30th, 1975, in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Les E. and Jane M. Corbett Cox. Nathan attended Central High School in Davenport. He was united in marriage to Annie Volrath Madden on July 15, 2005.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army (the first time) when he was 19. Basic training was at Fort Benning, Georgia. From there he went directly to Baumholder, Germany, and on to the conflict in Bosnia. Those Soldiers were among the first deployed to the area, so there was worry about how they would be received. Living conditions were extremely primitive at first and improvised explosive devices (IED) were a serious reality. He enjoyed traveling throughout Europe and to exotic places like Budapest in his free time, but he was not interested in reenlistment.
After his three-year tour of duty, he came back to Davenport where he returned to college at Scott Community followed by Saint Ambrose University.
Nathan decided to reenlist in the summer of 2005 and make the Army his career. One reason he rejoined was so he could explore new places. He was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and was immediately deployed to Iraq for a year. Upon his return, he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas and from there he was deployed to Afghanistan. In less than four years, Nathan rose from the rank of E3 to Staff Sergeant.
SSG Cox was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Blue Spaders, stationed from Fort Hood, Texas, until he was killed in action on September 20th, 2008 while serving in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. SSG Cox died of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device (IED) while performing an IED road clearing mission. On October 3rd, 2008 SSG Cox was buried at Rock Island National Cemetery. He received many awards during his military career, including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, posthumous.
Nathan loved to spend time outdoors, he especially enjoyed cooking for family and friends; sitting quietly with a cup of coffee contemplating life and it’s joys; sports; visiting with friends; just doodling; as well as being an avid reader and writer. The things that Nathan loved and cherished most in life were his family; he was a devoted son, husband, father, brother and Soldier. He was a mentor to the young men and women who served with him, acknowledging their youth and the fact that many of them were away from home for the first time. He always took time to talk to them and work through issues they may have been experiencing.
Those left to honor his memory include his wife, Annie, a daughter Sophia, stepdaughter Nichole McCorkle (Wes), stepson Jake Madden (Katie), his parents Les and Jane Cox, sister, Hannah Encarnacion (Carlos), many nieces and nephews and 5 grandchildren.
Sophie, now 17, is in her senior year of high school. She is a talented artist, creating masterpieces inspired by the world around her. She is also involved in theater, marching band and jazz band, archery and golf. In her free time she enjoys paddle boarding, roller blading, sketching and spending time with her family. One of her favorite past times is embellishing her yellow 2000 Volkswagen Beetle. She plans to attend college and study art, as well and continue with her musical interests. Sophie also has hopes of attending the Disney University.
Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Caleb A. Nelson
Died October 1, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
26, of Omaha, Neb., died Oct. 1 in Qalat, Afghanistan after his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to SEAL Team 10, Norfolk, Va. A graduate of BUD’s Class 260, November 2006.
Nelson was a highly decorated and seasoned combat veteran. In 2009 he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. In March 2011, Petty Officer Nelson deployed again to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Caleb valued the importance of self-motivation and discipline and planned to train his boys to bring glory to God by always seeking to better themselves. Caleb’s Christian upbringing cultivated a desire to seek God’s will in his life. A living example seen by his actions of faith within the SEAL community. Caleb believed in living his life as a sacrifice for others, a belief that he ultimately fulfilled to the utmost.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Sea Service Ribbon (2 awards), NATO Service Medal, Expert Rifle ribbon, and Expert Pistol ribbon.
“Caleb was a dedicated Christian, a loving husband and father, and a warrior elite. He was an example of strength and courage to all who knew him and in each of our lives he leaves a gaping hole words can’t describe. Caleb received Christ as his Lord and Savior, and serving Him was the foundational motivation in Caleb’s life. He strongly felt that God had directed him into the SEALs and had given him the skills to excel in that capacity and he accepted the challenges, pain and danger as part of God’s plan for his life. He was driven to succeed in everything he did, hating mediocre, always striving to be the best he could possibly be. Caleb was a dedicated husband and father, and being apart from his family was the most difficult aspect of his times away in training or deployment. He was a rock of strength to his wife even when he was thousands of miles away. Caleb leaves behind a legacy of courage, faith, and dedication.”
David is now in 5th grade. He describes himself as funny, smart, athletic and sometimes weird. David plays football and baseball, has a nickname, “interceptor” because he can catch anything. Yep, he shoots guns just like dad, camps, bikes, and still finds time to read the bible. David has not forgotten to carve out time to hug and love his mom as well.
“I don’t really remember my Dad because I was so young when he died but think it’s super cool that he was a sniper.”
Kyle is in 4th grade. He describes himself as happy, aggressive, playful, caring, and a really great morning singer. The perfect combination to follow in his Dad’s footsteps of one day becoming a SEAL. For now, he enjoys baseball and football. Oh yeah, and his iPad.
“I think my family is special because we have a house and we love Jesus”