Military Brat Day: Jo

Jo with her mom and dad

This year for Military Brat Day, we would like to share a little about a longtime staff member, Jo Cox.

Born at Ft Dixon, New Jersey, Jo spent her very early years moving around while her father, Bruce R Cox CWO 4 was on active duty in the United States Army. She knows he served in Korea and that her mother and sister spoke of spending time in Texas, but most of Jo's childhood was spent in Lansing, Michigan, where her father served a long career in the National Guard.

He worked at the Armory in Lansing, and Jo has vivid memories of spending Christmas at the Armory with all of its smells of motor oil and machinery.

Her summers were spent in Grayling while her father was at Annual Training Camp at Lake Margrethe. Talking about it brought back strong memories of eating in the mess hall, watching movies outside, and sleeping on the beach. Her family loved it so much they bought a cabin up there.

Jo's father at his retirement party.

Jo is a trained nurse, and she came to the National Home in the spring of 1976 as part of the residential program. Her impetus was loving kids and wanting something long-term and hands-on that would let her invest in children's lives.

Though the program has grown and morphed over the years, Jo's versatility has allowed her to take on many different roles here at the National Home, such as helping with Santa Shop, the Bike Shop, and the Donated Goods Bank. She also teaches "Diet Free," Smoking Cessation, and CPR and First Aid classes.

Though the initial draw to the Home was her desire to help children, once she was here, the knowledge that she was helping to serve veterans like her father further enriched her career here at the National Home.

Jo is a few months away from retirement after 45 years spent caring for the families of the National Home. Stay tuned because you will most certainly hear more about Jo in the near future.

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