CHESAPEAKE, VA, US
U.S. Marine Corps
LCPL, 2D BN 6TH MAR (RCT-7, I MEF FWD) 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
08/20/2010, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
Cody had wanted to be a Marine since he was 12 years old. He enlisted at the beginning of his junior year in high school and went in to active service in August 2009, Marine Corps Forces Command spokesman Dennis Neal said. His primary specialty was as a machine gunner. Childers, a 2009 graduate of Grassfield High School in Chesapeake, was a member of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
His grandmother Peggy Ewell described Childers as an outgoing, happy and lovable guy who enjoyed hunting and fishing with his father. They were real buddies. He was living his boyhood dream and “Cody was doing what he loved,” Ewell said.
Cody just left for Afghanistan this past June and was scheduled to return to the United States in February. He was engaged and hoped to get married in May.
He was a wonderful kid, as all grandmothers will tell you,” Ewell said.
All the family knew that Cody’s greatest loves were the Marine Corps and the outdoors said Childers’s aunt, Jayme Montague. “He died because he loved his country and he wanted to make a difference.”
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.
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 in the hospital his grandmother said, the whole time he was eager to get back to work. The 19-year-old returned to combat with renewed determination, however on August 20, 2010 he finished his mission when he was hit by enemy gunfire. This time, his wounds were fatal. He died Friday in Helmand province, the Pentagon said.
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.
Childers is the son of Randy and Wendy Childers of Chesapeake. He has an older brother, Ryan; a younger sister, Cassidy. He also leaves a half brother, Chris; and a half sister, Stephanie Medina. Peggy Ewell and Childers’ grandfather, Wade, also live in Chesapeake.