- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army 1st Lt. Simon T. Cox Jr.
Died February 2, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
30, of Mesquite, Texas; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; killed Feb. 2 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his M2A3 Bradley in Taji, Iraq.
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Texas soldier remembered for family, faith
MESQUITE, Texas — With the Super Bowl approaching, the family of 1st Lt. Simon Timothy Cox Jr. thought of their deployed football fan in Iraq.
“He was so excited about sports and his family,” said Dorothy Duff, his mother-in-law who lives in Dallas. “He would get so involved and yell at them, ‘You’re kidding me!’ ”
Cox, 30, died Thursday after a roadside bomb detonated near his tank in Taji, the Department of Defense announced Sunday.
The Mesquite High School graduate was in his second tour of duty when he died, becoming at least the 195th Texas casualty in Iraq since the war began in March 2003, according to the defense department.
Cox was shipped out for a 15-month tour in December. His next trip home was scheduled Feb. 25, when he would have celebrated the first birthday of his son, James. He and his wife, Jeni Duff, would have been married six years in May.
Cox, who also had a 3-year-old son, earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Arlington and wanted to be a high school teacher after his service. He also served as a youth minister at churches in Dallas and Mesquite.
“Our youth here are devastated because he really meant a lot to them and spent a lot of time with them,” said Rev. Mark Mills, pastor at Eastridge Park Congregation Methodist Church in Mesquite. “He carried some of them through some tough times.”
Cox was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in Fort Hood.