Obituary: Cody A. Board
12:00 AM CDT on Saturday, October 9, 2010
Cody A. Board was born in an Army hospital at Fort Sill,
Okla. He knew from childhood that he wanted to be a soldier, just like his
father, and his uncle, and his grandfather.
Halloween, when other kids were monsters, he was dressed up in
military camouflage," said his father, Chris Board of McKinney.
Pfc. Board was killed Monday by an improvised explosive device in Mirwais,
Afghanistan, where he was returning from a patrol. He would have been
20 this Tuesday.
His father, a West Point graduate and Desert Storm veteran, urged his son
to explore all military options when he graduated from McKinney North High
School in 2009.
"I actually was in more of a dad mode rather than in a veteran mode," Mr.
Board said. "I wanted him to do something a little more safe and tried to
steer him toward that."
PFC Board chose to join the Army Airborne Rangers. "His platoon and his
group of guys just can't say enough about how wonderful he was," Mr. Board
said. "They've all said they are going to get the guy that planted that
PFC Board moved to McKinney with his family in 1999, after his father, a
captain, left the military for health reasons.
He was 10 when terrorists attacked New York City; near Washington, D.C.;
and in Pennsylvania. "It affected him greatly," his father said.
PFC Board lettered in cross-country and wrestling in high school. "He was
a shyer kid. It [wrestling] took him out of his shell," his father said.
North McKinney High School wrestling coach Shawn Brasher remembered Pfc.
Board for his team loyalty and perseverance. "As far as wrestling goes, he
was one of those where it really didn't come easy," Mr. Brasher said. "He
had to work hard for everything he accomplished." PFC. Board, a 130-pound
wrestler, was known for his offbeat sense of humor. "His peers loved him,"
Mr. Brasher said. "We all loved him."
PFC. Board placed fifth in district wrestling competition, his former
coach said. "He liked tearing guys up," his father said. "It helped him
keep focused on school."
PFC Board's high school wrestling paid off at Army boot camp. "When
he graduated, he said 'Dad, that made it so much easier,'" his father
said. "I learned to push myself.' "
PFC Board was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment
based in Vilseck, Germany.
Services for PFC Board are pending the return of his remains to Texas next
In addition to his father, survivors include his mother, Melissa Sue of
McKinney; two brothers, Aaron, a senior at McKinney North High School, and
Tyler, a freshman at the school; his maternal grandfather, retired Army
Command Sgt. Maj. Al Daley of Grove, Okla.; and his paternal grandfather,
Bob Board of Coon Rapids, Minn.
Army PFC Cody A. Board
October 04, 2010
serving during Operation Enduring Freedom
19, of McKinney, Texas; assigned to 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry
Regiment, Vilseck, Germany; died Oct. 4 at Mirwais, Afghanistan, of wounds
sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive
North Texan dies in Afghan
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A 19-year-old North Texan has died in an insurgent attack on his
U.S. Army unit in Afghanistan. A Defense Department statement
says Pfc. Cody A. Board of McKinney died Monday in Mirwais, Afghanistan,
of wounds suffered in an explosion during the insurgent attack. Board was
assigned to the 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck,
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
REMEMBRANCE FOR SOLDIER
updated 10/8/2010 11:45:10 PM ET
High School turned its post-game celebration Friday into a tribute to a
graduate who was killed in Afghanistan. Pfc. Cody Board, 19, was killed
Oct. 4 at Mirwais, Afghanistan, after his unit was attacked with an
improvised explosive device. The school will hold a candlelight vigil for
Board at a nearby elementary school after Friday night's football game.
The vigil was originally scheduled for before the game but was changed
because the players wanted to attend. The school also honored Board during
the game. His father and younger brother stood side-by-side as an Army
Reserve color guard yelled out a roll call including his name. His
relatives waited in silence as no one answered the call. The
football players wore his initials on the back of their helmets, and the
cheerleaders painted them on their arms. "He's watching us," said Chris
Board, his father. "He'll know."
Pfc. Cody Board would have been 20 on Tuesday, his father said. A
uniformed officer informed his parents of their son's death in person
earlier this week.
"I just thought to myself please, please, please just let him be OK," said
Melissa Board, his mother. "And he told me, 'Ms. Board, I'm sorry to tell
you this, but your son didn't make it.'"
Someone anonymously placed flags around the Boards' home. "I just melted
my heart -- spaced about every 10 to 12 feet in the grass was the small
little flags," Chris Board said. A service flag trimmed in red with a gold
star, a sign of a fallen soldier, is displayed in the front window of the
Boards' home. His parents said he was the kind of man who could make you
smile even in his pictures. Melissa Board said her son will be "missed so
"He was just a great kid," she said. "Everybody loved him."
updated 2 hours 44 minutes ago 2010-10-07T17:17:01
from North Texas has died supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Pfc. Cody
A. Board, 19, of McKinney, died Oct. 4 at Mirwais, Afghanistan, of wounds
suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive
device. Board's Facebook page immediately turned into an online memorial
as news of his death began to circulate among his friends. His
brother, Aaron, a senior at McKinney North High School posted the
following about his brother. "I've watched the news clip at least 10 times
now. I still can't believe it. You are and always have been my hero, my
inspiration. I just don't even know what to sayy. I know that you will be
guardian angel. The thing that you always tried to do. I've got too many
memories that I could put up. You are the most complete ...person. I can't
wait till the day thAt you get to introduce me to the lord. I love you
sooooo much!! I will forever miss you!"
A vigil for Board will take place Friday evening at Vega Elementary on
Cattleman Drive in McKinney. Later that night, the McKinney North football
team will be wearing Board's initials on their football helmets in
memoriam of the fallen soldier.
assigned to the 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck,
Candles for Cody: Family, friends, fellow Americans hold
candlelight vigil for fallen McKinney soldier
Danny Gallagher/McKinney Courier-Gazette -
Acquaintances, family members and fellows citizens who attended Friday's
candlelight vigil for Pfc. Cody Board of McKinney left messages of
condolence and gratitude to Board and his family.
By Danny Gallagher,
Published: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 3:15 AM CDT
Pfc. Cody Board's career as a soldier didn't
start when he joined the U.S. Army or flew to Germany and Afghanistan to
serve his country.
and family said he was a soldier long before he was tall enough to fit
into the uniform.
"He died doing what he wanted to do," Cody's father Christopher Board
said, "ever since he was a little squirt."
Pfc. Board died on Monday, Oct. 4 in Mirwavis, Afghanistan from an
improvised explosive device launched by insurgents during an attack on his
unit. Three of his fellow soldiers were wounded, but were able to return
to their unit later in the week.
A crowd of family, friends and fellow citizens gathered Friday at
McKissick Park next to Vega Elementary School on Taylor-Burk Drive to hold
a candlelight vigil for Pfc. Board. His friends, some of whom he knew
since the third grade, remembered Cody talking about wanting to be a
soldier during his days in his backyard battlefield where he they would
engage each other in imaginary wars, complete with paintball guns.
"Whenever we played war," friend and fellow soldier Vince Wilson said, "he
always wanted to be a soldier."
Then when he turned 18 and graduated from McKinney North High School, he
jumped at the chance to be a real soldier, even though he knew the risk
and sacrifice he might have to make to achieve his ambition. "He told me
he was going to be the guy breaking the door down," friend Miranda Price
said upon learning that Pfc. Board would be deployed to Afghanistan. "I
could just see him. He'd be the guy with his tongue sticking out, saying
'What's up suckers?'
"I know he died doing what he wanted to do," Price said. "He was a very
His family said they could even see his enthusiasm for military service in
his fellow soldiers. Mr. Board said he and his family were happy to learn
that the soldiers who were wounded in the attack were able to redeploy so
quickly and they plan to fly to Vilsack, Germany to meet the members of
his unit when they ship out for their next tour in Afghanistan.
"His corporal said he was amazed of the effect Cody had on his unit," Mr.
Board said. "He had an infectious smile."
The most profound effect, however, came from people who never even met
him, Mr. Board said. A flood of solemn thanks filled the "Wall" on Pfc.
Board's Facebook page. The family even received emails and calls from
people they had never met just to thank them for their son's courage and
"We got a phone call from Brooklyn," Mr. Board said. "He said he was a
60-year-old factory worker who read about Cody in the New York Times. He
called and said, 'You don't know me, but I just wanted to thank you for
your son's service."
Even though a lot of friends and family had suffered a great loss, his
actions and inspiration could fill the void his presence had left on them.
"I'm so proud of him and what he did with his life," Wilson said. "When I
needed a great role model, he stepped up to the task. I never told him
this, but I wanted to join the Army and follow in his footsteps."