Father and son celebrate Thanksgiving together in Iraq

24 Nov 2005 | Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Zahn

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, a time for giving thanks and most importantly, a time to spend with family. It is one of the most heavily traveled days of the year as families all over the United States commute to be with each other for the holidays.

For those in the military, holidays while deployed are a time to call home, read mail and remember past holidays spent with family. Most military members and their families would give anything to spend the holidays together, even in Iraq. For one family from Campbellsville, Ky. the unlikely occurred and a father and son celebrated Thanksgiving with each other while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

For Army 1st Sgt. William K. Cox, company first sergeant for Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery, and his son, Cpl. Winston A. Cox, a gunner with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines being deployed to Iraq makes their Thanksgiving celebration that much more meaningful.

After several unsuccessful tries to get space on a flight to visit his son William flew into Camp Fallujah Nov. 23, got transportation to Camp Baharia, and got to spend Thanksgiving with his son.

“I have tried to come and see my son several times before, but it just didn’t work out as far as my schedule and flight times,” said William, a 26-year Army National Guard veteran. “I was just glad that I got to spend some time with him before I rotate back to the U.S.”

“It feels pretty good to be spending Thanksgiving with my dad,” added Winston, a 2002 graduate of Taylor County High School, the same high school his dad graduated from in 1980. “It was a good experience”

“We called home yesterday and talked to my wife and younger son,” said William. “They were glad that we were able to spend time together, especially for Thanksgiving.”

According to William, the two spent the holiday “just hanging out, talking, and watching movies,” before eating a traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie at the chow hall.

The day after Thanksgiving, William and his son parted ways. William caught a flight to rejoin his unit, a Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) battery that is currently performing as a military police unit in Balad. Winston and his fellow Marines continue to conduct counter-insurgency operations in Fallujah and the surrounding areas.