Cody S. Childers – Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

August 21, 2010

DOD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Corporal Cody S. Childers, 19, of Chesapeake, Virginia, died August 20 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, IIMarine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

CHESAPEAKE – A Chesapeake Marine who died in Afghanistan on Friday. 19-year-old Cody Childers body returned to the United States on Saturday afternoon.


Friends and family say Cody didn't have to go to Afghanistan, he wanted to. To him, being a Marine wasn't a job, it was a dream.

Jack Mani, a friend of Cody's from Grassfield High School says, “He was hooked. He wanted to go serve for us.”

Cody left behind his mom, dad, sister and brother in Chesapeake. There was also his fiancée he planned to marry next year. They all knew how badly Cody wanted to serve, even after hitting an IED a month ago in Afghanistan.

Mani says, “He told his mom, ‘Mom, I want to go back. My guys don't have me, they need me. I just want to get back in there with them.'”

After a few days of rest, Cody went back to work.

Then, last Friday, another attack. This time, the call home came from someone else.

“I didn't believe it really. One of my friends called me and told me and I was like, really? You're lying about this. Cody is still over there fighting,” Mani says.

Reality has yet to sink in for those that Cody leaves behind. There's so much that should lie ahead. Then again, being a Marine at war was nothing Cody had to do; it's what he wanted to do.

Mani says, “He had heart and desire. He wanted to go and fight and make a difference. He felt like he did and that's what really counts.”

August 22, 2010:

Lance Corporal 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.

Childers is the son of Randy and Wendy Childers. He has an older brother, Ryan; a younger sister, Cassidy; and an older half-brother and half-sister, Chris Childers and Stephanie Medina. Peggy Ewell and Childers’ grandfather, Wade, also live in Chesapeake.

Lance Corporal Childers will be laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be announced.

Arlington Burial Afghanistan
The casket of Lance Corporal Cody Childers arrives for a burial service at Arlington National Cemetery Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Peggy Ewell, Wade Ewell, Cassidy Childers, Ryan Childers, Randy Childers, Wendy Childers
The family of Lance Cpl. Cody Childersstand as ‘Taps' is played during his burial service at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday, August 31, 2010. From left, grandmother Peggy Ewell, grandfather Wade Ewell, siser Cassidy Childers, brother Ryan Childers, father Randy Childers, and mother Wendy Childers
Arlington Burial Afghanistan
A Marine Honor Guard fires a volley during a burial service for Lance Corporal Cody Childers, Tuesday, August 31, 2010, at Arlington National Cemetery


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 03/02/1991
  • DATE OF DEATH: 08/20/2010

cschilders-gravesite-photo-by-eileen-horan-november-2010-001 Arlington National Cemetery Website Photo Arlington National Cemetery Website Photos; Arlington National Cemetery Website Photos;

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