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Wesley L. Fox

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Colonel Wesley L. Fox, USMC (ret.) retired from the Marine Corps in 1993 after forty-three years of distinguished service. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he received two awards of the Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star with Combat V, four awards of the Purple Heart, and numerous commendations. Colonel Wesley L. Fox has the distinction of having held every rank in the Marine Corps from Private to Colonel.  From 1993 until his retirement in 2001, Fox served as deputy commandant of cadets at Virginia Tech. 


According to Home of Heroes, while serving as a 1st Lieutenant in Vietnam, “Lieutenant Fox was serving his second tour of duty in his second war, when he lead the "Walking Dead" of his company during Operation Dewey Canyon.  During the course of the three month operation, Lieutenant Fox's Alpha Company suffered 75% casualties, the company commander among them.  Despite his wounds, Lieutenant Fox continued to lead his Marines in battle, subsequently being awarded our Nation's highest award for military heroism, the Medal of Honor.  His award was presented to him at the White House in 1971 by President Richard M. Nixon.  By the time of his award, Wesley Fox had risen to the rank of Captain.”  Colonel Wesley L. Fox is the author of Marine Rifleman: Forty-Three Years in the Corps and Courage and Fear: A Primer.


According to the book description of Marine Rifleman: Forty-Three Years in the Corps, “Intrigued by the mystique and challenge of the Marine Corps, eighteen-year-old Wesley Fox enlisted in the summer of 1950, shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War. He saw action with the First Marine Division and was wounded in 1951. After Korea, Fox advanced steadily in the enlisted ranks, and received an appointment as second lieutenant early in the Vietnam War. He was twice wounded in a vicious battle during Operation Dewey Canyon. “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty,” Fox received the Medal of Honor. Readers interested in U.S. military history, the Marine Corps, and inspiring tales of personal achievement will enjoy reading about this extraordinary career.”

Marine Rifleman: Forty-Three Years in the Corps
Wesley L. Fox  More Info

Courage and Fear: A Primer
USMC (Ret.), Col. Wesley L. Fox  More Info

According to the book description of Courage and Fear: A Primer, “I have only two men out of my company and twenty out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold.” First Lt. Clifton B. Cates’s report on July 19, 1918, reminds us that controlling one’s fear is key to success on the battlefield. Cates—a future commandant of the Marine Corps—held, but if his fear had bested him, he might not have been able to think clearly or lead his men successfully, possibly sacrificing his men’s lives and the mission.


Medal of Honor recipient and retired Marine colonel Wesley L. Fox writes about his fears in difficult operational and training situations, their effect on him, and he how he handled particular fears. While he focuses primarily on military experiences, Fox’s methods of handling the thoughts, actions, and reactions to fear apply to civilian circumstances as well. Fear can bombard us in our daily routine, sometimes in unexpected ways. The more we know about ourselves and how fear affects us, the better able we are to control it and to produce positive results. “If fear is not handled properly and promptly,” Fox writes, “it can and will override common sense, good judgment, and the positive decision-making process.”

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