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Va. Marine killed by enemy gunfire in Afghanistan

Marines carry the remains of Lance Cpl. Cody S. Childers, 19, of Chesapeake, Va. Being a Marine fulfilled his boyhood dream.
Marines carry the remains of Lance Cpl. Cody S. Childers, 19, of Chesapeake, Va. Being a Marine fulfilled his boyhood dream. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/associated Press)

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By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cody S. Childers, a Marine from Virginia, was wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan about a month ago and spent four days in a hospital, his grandmother 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.

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 outdoorsman who loved hunting and fishing. He and his father, Randy, "were hunting buddies."

In addition to his parents, his family included a brother, Ryan; a sister, Cassidy; a half brother, Chris; and a half sister, Stephanie Medina, Ewell 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.

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