Nine years ago, Eyewitness News interviewed then National Guardsman Jaimie Cox by satellite after he was deployed in Afghanistan. What he had to say then reveals a lot about his commitment to service that led him eventually to join the Rockford Police Department.
Cox was the embodiment of the everyday hero. A kid from the Roscoe area who loved motorcycles, his family and his country, he decided to risk his life to volunteer to serve in the U.S. military.
In 2008, Cox’s National Guard service took him to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, where he told Eyewitness News by satellite that he had found a new kind of fulfillment.
“The feeling of giving back, of doing good for the country,” said Cox. “You know, now that I’m finally fulfilling what I wanted to do in the military.”
Cox’s unit at the time provided security for a military construction company building roads, schools and bridges. He especially enjoyed interacting with Afghan children.
“We go out and play soccer with them on Friday,” Cox said. “(We) just go around and take pictures. They love all the electronics.”
The military would be Cox’s path into law enforcement, and in 2016, the Rockford Police Department. Different place, different uniform, same motivation – to serve and protect others.
Cox lost his life Sunday doing something he felt he was meant to do, and words his brother Sean told Eyewitness News nine years ago, about Cox’s service to his country still ring true about his sacrifice now.
“I’d just like them to think about what’s happening over there,” said Sean Cox, Jaimie’s brother. “The fact that they are risking their lives to protect our country.”
Revise Sean’s words from ‘over there’ to ‘over here’ and from ‘protect our country’ to protect our city,’ and that’s what Officer Cox was doing when he lost his life on Sunday.
Risking his life to help others is what an everyday hero does.