James E.M. Cox

September 17, 1916 – January 14, 2004

Staff Sergeant James Emanual Mackis Cox served during WWII on Morotai Island. He was injured by the Japanese, and lost his right arm. He contracted Malaria, Pneumonia, and several other injuries. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, amongst several other awards.

My father recently died and we found this poem in his belongings. I don’t believe our mother ever saw it: she died ten years ago. We didn’t know he was a poet; we only knew he was a hero.

Kitty LaFountain
April 13, 2004


My dear,
Time is near,
The enemy’s bullets flew from the trees,
they brought me down to my knees,

I heard the cries of others,
crying for their mothers.

Yes, we are the bravest, the proud,
we together made our vows,
“The enemy will NEVER touch our souls,
our soil, or our women!”
To this our lives were given.

I pray to my God to save my soul,
and with his loving hands to hold,
my mother, my wife, my newborn baby,
and maybe, just maybe,
help my spirit to stay strong,
and my life to be long,
for my dear,
Time maybe near,
for me to return to your loving arms,
and leave the Grim Reaper to his own charms.