SIX MILE, S.C. (WSPA) – Like many service members, family ties motivated Frank Cox to join the service.

“My father had served in the Army and other members of my family, and my brother had gone through the ROTC program,” said Cox.

He spent 26 years there and went through the ROTC program at Clemson.

Cox went on active duty right after graduation.

“My first assignment I had a very interesting assignment in Aberdeen Proving Ground involved with chemical weapons,” he added.

Cox deployed to Vietnam in 1970 in the infantry unit. His fundamental job was base defense and base security.

“We were defending the quarters to keep the North Vietnamese from infiltrating into the South,” Cox told 7 NEWS.

He said he would fly a helicopter every day to look for enemy locations but ultimately returned to the States without conflict.

“When I got out of the Army, I had a real extensive background in nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare. That was my specialty,” Cox said. “And a company hired me that had a significant capability to do research and development. And so I kind of walked out of one business into the private sector.”

Now Cox works with the Clemson Corps. It’s a program formed with retired military officers.

“We had two missions to raise interest and raise knowledge of Clemson’s military history, its heritage, and also to fund scholarships for ROTC,” said Cox.

He described the program as uplifting.

“Because you kind of kept back in touch with the military and you felt like you were contributing to the growth and development of these young officers,” he shared.

On his off days, you might find Cox at the Semper Fi Barn.

It’s a barn in Six Mile where veterans can go to sit back, relax, and commemorate.

He said reflecting back on his career in and out of the service, he feels his life has been ideal.

“I’m the luckiest man on the face of the planet,” Cox said. “I have a wonderful family. I have a wonderful wife. Grew up in Clemson. I’m living in Clemson now, so I’m experiencing this phenomenal growth and experience at Clemson. So life is good.”

Frank Cox, Thank You for Your Service.