USMC combat veteran CPL COX’s memoir, rewritten from the pages of his journal, delivers an informative, personal, thought-provoking and sometimes poignant look into his OIF wartime experience. www.EricCox.com
“DON’T TELL THEM I’M A MARINE! I MEAN IT, MOM!” I remember shouting at her as we waited for a
table at an oceanfront restaurant in Wrightsville Beach, NC. It was June 4th, 2003—less than 24 hours after my
Nearly five years later in silence and solitude, I stood in front of the mirror at the position of attention in my
Marine Corps Dress Blues. I had just finished mounting my medals and ribbons on my chest. I thought back to
that day in 2003.
“What was I thinking? Mom couldn’t have been more proud of her son, a U. S. Marine, who had just returned
home from war. Yet I yelled at her in front of our family? What was I feeling to make me act so out of
A few weeks ago, I was trying to decide what to wear to our 2007 company Christmas party. I work for
myself in a very professional yet fun real estate office with great people, and I wanted to dress up for the occasion.
“I know, I’ll wear my Dress Blues,” I thought to myself. It had been over five years since I had worn them.
Excited, I called my girlfriend to tell her my idea.
“Don’t do that, Eric! People will laugh at you,” she replied.
“Are you kidding me?” I asked. “The Marine Corps Dress Blues are one of the sharpest and most respected
uniforms in the world!”
“I know that, but everyone knows how you feel about the Marines. They’ll think you’re mocking the
company!” she answered.
I guess I hadn’t had the fondest memories of the Marine Corps, but honestly I couldn’t tell you why. I actually
have quite a story and should be proud to tell it. But who would want to listen?
Random Quotes from Cpl Cox:
“I didn’t know where I was going and I
didn’t know if I was coming home. I
“I wasn’t proud of what I had done, seen or didn’t know if I was going to be able to
gone through as a Marine, but I wasn’t ashamed, write home or receive mail because it
either. So why had I refused to tell the story? I might jeopardize our security by giving
honestly didn’t know. I wondered … by reading away our position. I didn’t know if Mom
my own words, would I be able to understand my was going to be able to make it in health
own answer? I opened the log book.” or if she was going to lose it mentally. I
didn’t know if Abby was going to be able
to handle having a boyfriend that she
“…there were notes from a Rules of Engagement couldn’t talk to or even know if I was
class that included, ‘General Guidance: Don’t alive. I asked myself if I would wait if the
shoot anyone who doesn’t need to be shot.’” roles were reversed, but I couldn’t fully
convince myself I believed my answer.”
“Tomorrow is the day I have dreaded for well over a year now.
Abby and I knew it would eventually come, but had tried our best to
put it out of our minds so we could enjoy the time we had together.
Now, it was different. It was for real. We made love, but the
unknown made sex and conversation seem distant. We only wanted
to hold each other close—closer than ever before. We didn’t want
to fall asleep; we knew the next thing we heard was going to be the
alarm signaling our physical separation and my departure. At this
point, it was only a matter of hours.”
Random Quotes from Cpl Cox:
“The storm clouds are rolling in, but
they’re a nasty reddish-orange color.
“If I’m going to die tonight, then I’d better Looking at them made me think of a
hurry up and go to sleep… I’m a heavy sleeper, bleeding country as the dirty water
so I won’t wake up for my death.” spilled down upon us.”
“If the Iraqi military would just understand that
we will not harm them if they do not resist us, this “What the hell are we doing here?” I
would all be so simple. We would treat them better wondered. “I want to go home! If the
than they are treated here, and provide medical war is over… let’s go home!”
treatment and food. But they insist on fighting a
force they cannot compare to.”
“I had to stop thinking of home. The
more I thought about it, the crazier it made
me. This meant I had to stop writing in my
“But I was growing tired of waving. I didn’t want
journal. It meant I had to stop writing
to smile any more. I’d seen enough of these people,
letters home. This was a time for me to
and I want to go home and see my people. I’ll be
read my book and play the character of
thrilled to smile and wave at people when I get home,
someone else in someone else’s book.”
but I’m finished here.”
About The Author
Photo by: Alexandria Bright
Eric J Cox
Born in Greensboro, NC, raised in Asheboro, NC, Eric made Charlotte, NC, his
home in 2004 where he began working as a bartender. He purchased his first home in
2005 and began purchasing other properties as investments. In 2006 he achieved his
NC real estate license and became a Realtor®. Eric excelled as a commercial and
residential investment specialist and was nominated for the Rookie of the Year Award
as a multi-million dollar top producer following his inaugural year. Today he is the
Broker – Owner of The CHARLOTTE Real Estate Firm
Most recently, he has completed this book as his first and begun work on his next
book. He has opened his own micro-press publishing company, The Charlotte Press,
where he hopes to help other writers and authors publish and market quality books.
Eric is also founding a non-profit organization to benefit veterans. A portion of the
proceeds from this book’s sale, among other donations, will go to benefit his charity.
Eric is a single father residing in Charlotte with his daughter Savannah, his dog
Diezel, and his two cats Heidi and Chloe.
Your feedback and/ or comments are greatly appreciated at
For Immediate Release
U.S. Marine Corps Combat Veteran Publishes Personal Memoir: Cpl Cox
Charlotte, NC September 23, 2009 – On June 3rd, 2003, Cpl Cox and most of his unit returned home to their loved ones
following the initial invasion of Iraq, also known as Operation: Iraqi Freedom. Years later, Eric J Cox has rewritten his
once forgotten war journal into his new memoir, Cpl Cox. Written in part to help Cox cope with his own issues, Cox hopes
to provide others with a certain degree of insight and understanding into the complicated and extreme physical emotional
and psychological pressures that sometimes accompany life in the military.
Cpl Cox begins in present day 2007 with a flashback of an outburst against his Mother less than 24 hours after his return
home to indicate his denial of association with the Marine Corps. Searching for his own answers, he retells the actual
events that took place between February 6th and June 3rd, 2003, as to why he suddenly questions his own thoughts, feelings
Through his honest and personal writing to his journal, Cox does and excellent job of delivering an informative, personal,
thought-provoking, and sometimes poignant look into his wartime experience. But even more remarkable is the insight it
provides regarding the inner struggles Cpl Cox had to face as a member of the United States military -- faced similarly, yet
in their own individual ways by American servicemen and servicewomen all over the world.
Personally dedicating the book to his parents, the troops and their families, Cox hopes to help others through his writing.
“Cpl Cox raises many unanswered questions -- intended to provoke thought to form predictions, or to help the reader relate
to their own story or the story of someone they may know, to mine,” says author Eric J Cox. “Cpl Cox is my answer to the
question ‘What was it like?’ although the main idea of my writing was to convey the message: War Changes Lives.”
Cpl Cox is available for purchase through www.Amazon.com, www.EricCox.com and coming soon to the other national
booksellers. A portion of the proceeds generated from book sales through www.EricCox.com will be donated to charities
benefiting veterans. Cpl Cox may also be available in bulk for educational, business, or sales promotional use by
contacting The Charlotte Press.