I have the pleasure of introducing you to Mr. Steve Cox. We are honored that he has graciously offered to be a contributor here at TheCivilVoice.com. Thank you Steve for your service to our country, and for offering your experience and thoughtful commentary here at TheCivilVoice.com.
From the Beginning – My father was in the Air Force so for the first five years of my life, we moved
from state to state and then to Guam. We ended up in Memphis, Tennessee where I went to school thru college.
While a senior at Christian Brothers High School, I met a 15-year-old young lady (Cathy), at a CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) dance, who became my best friend (and remains my best friend) and wife.
One week BEFORE graduation from the University of Memphis (then known as Memphis State University) in January 1970, I joined the United States Marine Corps.
One week AFTER graduation I married Cathy. These were undoubtedly the two best decisions of my life! As you can see, once I have an obsession with doing something I move out at double time.
One of the many Marine Corps Mottos is “push, pull or get the heck out of my way” (the word heck is replaced by a different word in the USMC version, but for decorum reasons I have made this substitution).
Steve Cox – Diplomatic Service
After four years on Active Duty with the Marine Corps, I joined the Diplomatic Security Service as a Special Agent. I retired in 1995 after 25 years of government service, Including 24 years as a Marine Reserve officer, with 29 moves on three continents.
We served overseas in Africa, Middle East, Canada, and Afghanistan. I then spent two years as a Magistrate for the Supreme Court of Virginia (19th Judicial District). Next was a wonderful (but very labor intensive) 12 years working as a Special Investigator for the FBI.
I finished up my most recent post-retirement career as a Program Manager in the Department of State – Office of Antiterrorism Assistance.
Steve Cox – Value Of Friendship
I have traveled extensively overseas managing anti-terrorism training programs in North Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Our children were raised overseas and in Africa learned what REAL poverty and hardship looked like “up close and personal.”
Our son’s best friend lived next door to our U.S. Embassy provided housing in a tin shack, with no running water, no sanitation facilities and obviously no electricity. They spent HOURS together teaching each other their native languages and having fun, as ALL kids will do.
When it was time to leave the Congo (then known as Zaire) Steve Jr. was visibly upset to leave his friend “Kiki” behind. Sorry for the diatribe on that one but it was an important lesson for us to learn from our son about the value of friendship.
Steve Cox – Life As A Journey
I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder regarding personal and professional productivity, team building – and as Cathy will tell anyone….I am slightly paranoid about neatness and organization. But we do view life as a journey, not a destination so there may be hope for me after all.
For the past four years, we have “played” with the idea of starting a home based business to spend more time with family and “follow our passion”, which for me is personal and professional coaching. I very immodestly consider myself to be extremely good at team building and empowering people to do things they never imagined they could do. I did this most recently on very large projects in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Afghanistan.
In addition to personal/productivity coaching I have a passion for yoga and meditation. My favorite book (audio is best) is Zen Mind Beginners Mind.
At last count I have listened to it over 100 times. Yes, that is OCD no doubt, to track how many times you listen to a book . Cathy and I love to read, and I have
“almost” read every book on self-improvement ever published.
Steve Cox – A Passion For Animals
We both have a passion for animals and have been dog owners for 45 years. We currently have two senior citizen Norwich Terriers – Mason and Dixon, who are 14 years old. Cathy has extended the life of the two brothers by a minimum of three years according to our veterinarian by creating a natural vegetable and meat based (chicken) diet of her making.
In fact, I should be eating THEIR food which takes hours to prepare. She did massive amounts of research on “dog food” and found out that “most” of the companies selling dog food are, well to be kind……….let’s say……….NOT providing nutrition for our “best friends”.
Steve Cox – The Next Objective
Our next major life objective is to DOWNSIZE and DECLUTTER our lives and home. We are investigating and exploring “tiny homes”, modular housing and container homes. We have a 25-acre farm in rural western Virginia, (in addition to our home in Hamilton, VA) where we built a home for our son, daughter-in-law and grandson about 14 years ago.
The deal was a “buy back” from us at some point………..your next question “how did that work out”….I would prefer not to answer. So, since we already own the land (thru the mortgage company of course), our plan is to build a small home adjacent to their home within the next year.
We want to move away from the hustle and bustle of being this close to Washington DC, and try our hand at farming (we are thinking bamboo and ginseng).
We have two grown children (son and daughter) and two grandsons ages 15 and 9. Our divorced daughter and youngest grandson live with us and are we are attempting to help them start an independent (but not separate) life of their own. It is a challenge.
We do not face failures in life; we only learn lessons and “re-boot.” I have read that it took Edison 1,000 attempts to make a working light bulb which is what I call persistence worth following!