FORT CAMPBELL, KY SSGT Cosmo Cozby is back in the U.S.A. after serving 13 months in Afghanistan as a forward observer with the 187th Infantry based in Kentucky. His unit is part of the 101st Airborne (Screaming Eagles), Third Brigade (Rakkasans), Delta Company that deployed to Afghanistan January 2010 and returned this Feb. 7.
He is the son of Bonnie and Charlie Cozby of Ocean Park. The couple, and his wife Modi, traveled to Kentucky to greet their son as he returned stateside. This marks the second homecoming for Cosmo who had a similar tour of duty in Iraq. Last December Delta Company was featured on the television show 60 Minutes after suffering heavy casualties outside Kandahar near the Pakistani border that left the company at about 60 percent strength.
Although it was in the afternoon, a surprise snowstorm made it feel much later in the day. I stood in the 30 degree weather with wet snow covering me head to toe and listened to the whine of engines as the plane approached, landed and taxied towards the crowd of about 100 excited and shivering family members. Suddenly there was a long intake of breath all around me and then a collective shout of joy from all of us on the airfield, Bonnie said.
I saw a form through the snow that was moving in a familiar way. The size was right, the walk was right, if only I could see better, and then I knew it was Cosmo. My son turned towards me, grinned with dimples showing and shouted Are you cold? and I shouted back Im not cold, I am walking on air.
After the homecoming the Cozby family had several mishaps including two falls with injuries, two blizzards, colds requiring bed rest, and a death in their extended family.
Cosmo is scheduled to be transferred to Fort Stewart near Savannah, Ga., in June. The unit he is transferring to is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in 2012, but Cosmo may not be deployed as he is applying for warrant officer training.
Since 2005 Cosmo has spent 30 months in Korea, just south of the pressure-packed demilitarized zone, 13 months in Iraq and 13 months in Afghanistan. That is not out of the norm for our soldiers. Some of his buddies have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan five or more times, Bonnie said. There were hoots and laughter when we saw Cosmo marching into the hanger in full uniform with his weapon, backpack, and gear. He was home and he was safe.