Friday, August 20, 2010

Marine Lance Cpl. Cody S. Childers

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Cody S. Childers, 19, of Chesapeake, Va.

LCpl. Childers was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Aug. 20, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Marine from Chesapeake killed in Afghanistan

Lance Cpl. Cody S. Childers talked about joining the Marines as early as age 12, family members said.

In June – having made that dream come true – Childers left for Afghanistan.

The 19-year-old Chesapeake native died Friday while supporting combat operations in the country’s Helmand province, the Department of Defense announced Saturday. No other details about his death were released.

“He died because he loved his country and he wanted to make a difference,” aunt Jayme Montague of Chesapeake said Saturday.

Childers, a 2009 graduate of Grassfield High School, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Childers enlisted in September 2008 and went into active service in August 2009, Marine Corps Forces Command spokesman Dennis Neal said. His primary specialty was as a machine gunner, Neal said.

Family and friends said Saturday that Childers had just survived an IED blast a few weeks ago that left him with a concussion, dislocated shoulder and injuries from shrapnel. He was out of commission for three to four days, the whole time eager to get back to work, they said.

Peggy Ewell described her grandson as an outgoing, lovable guy who enjoyed hunting with his father. Childers was scheduled to return from Afghanistan in February, she said. He was engaged to longtime sweetheart Megan Smithdeal of Chesapeake, with plans to get married in May.

Smithdeal’s mother, Laurie Smithdeal, smiled Saturday as she talked about how unusually patient Childers was while fishing. “He’d stand there all day long,” she said.

Childers also loved to work on his truck, a 20-year-old Ford F-150 they called “Old Red and White.” He bought new tires for it before deploying and couldn’t wait to make more improvements, Smithdeal said.

In the Hickory section of Chesapeake, where Childers’ parents live, “the boys have to have the biggest and the loudest” trucks, she said.

After returning to combat with renewed determination, the 19-year-old lance corporal from Chesapeake was hit by enemy gunfire, she said. This time, his wounds were fatal. He died Friday in Helmand province, the Pentagon said.

"Our hearts are broken," said Peggy Ewell, the Marine's grandmother. "He'll be so missed."

Ewell shared the thoughts of her daughter, Wendy Childers, the Marine's mother: "She wanted him to be honored as a young man that loved the Marines, that loved his country . . . and was doing what he loved," she said.

The Marine also told his mother that they "were making a difference in Afghanistan," Ewell said.

Cody Childers, a 2009 graduate of Grassfields High School in Chesapeake, wanted to be a Marine from boyhood, Ewell said. He reported for training last August and deployed a little more than two months ago from Camp Lejeune.

The Pentagon said he was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division in the II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Ewell said her grandson was a "very outgoing, happy guy" and an avid outdoors man who loved hunting and fishing. He and his father, Randy, "were hunting buddies."

A couple of days before her grandson left for Afghanistan, Ewell and her husband drove to see him and took him to a restaurant in Morehead City, N.C. They would have bought him anything he asked for, she said.

He wanted oysters, and oysters were what he had.

Lance Cpl. Childers is survived by his parents Randy and Wendy Childers of Chesapeake, VA, his brother Ryan, Sister Cassidy, half brother Chris Cassidy and half sister Stephanie Medina all of Chesapeake, VA. He is also survived by his grandparents Wade and Peggy Ewell also of Chesapeake and fiancee Megan Smithdeal of Chesapeake.

Marine Lance Cpl. Cody S. Childers was killed on 8/20/10.

No comments: