Remembering Cody Eggleston- The Class Clown of Infantry School

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Eggleston, Pfc CodyEvery classroom the world over has its class clown. It doesn’t matter if it’s high school, college, technical school, or the military. In 2007, at the U.S. Army’s basic training and advanced infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia, Pfc. Cody Eggleston was our class clown.

It was easy to think of Eggleston as annoying at first, because his antics often came at times when we were supposed to be observing total silence. When a drill instructor would overhear his little jokes and chuckles, or the laughter he’d garnered from others, it was time for everyone to assume the front leaning rest position and start pushing!

However, you could never stay angry at Cody, in spite of all the extra pushups he earned for our platoon. He was too nice of a guy to bear ill will toward for too long, and frankly, he’d just end up making you laugh again, and you’d forget you’d ever been mad at him.

After graduating from Fort Benning, Cody was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25’th Infantry Division at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. He later deployed to Iraq and sustained fatal injuries in an indirect fire incident on 16 October, 2008 near Baqubah, Iraq. Cody was flown home and died with his wife Karie by his side at a hospital in Spartanburg, South Carolina a couple of days later.

I still remember hearing of Cody’s death shortly after it happened. I was serving in a different part of Iraq at the time, Mosul, and all these years later it still seems unreal.

In my mind’s eye, I can still see him smiling, and I can still hear him laughing in my memories. And every time I do, I can’t help but smile and laugh myself.

 

Kevin E Lake is an Iraq War Veteran and author. His book “Off Switch” was written to raise awareness of the veteran suicide epidemic in the U.S. and can be purchased on Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.com/Off-Switch-ebook/dp/B009Q3MSK2

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6 Comments
  1. James Star says

    We will NEVER forget them!

  2. Kent2012 says

    The faces of my friends from Vietnam still fill my mind’s eye…………..

  3. Charles Ingram says

    A class clown’s motive and intention is to be loveable, and above all….never be non-descript. Bet Cody never heard his drill instructor ask if he was in his platoon

  4. norhymenoreason says

    damn. heartbreaking.

  5. irish7_1sg says

    God Bless Him & His Family! Although I was in the running for “Class Clown” throughout high school, I kept my mouth shut during Basic Training and Infantry School. I can still hear my Drill Sergeant asking me “Are you in my Platoon?” This was after 8 weeks at Fort Benning.

  6. joshuasweet says

    I remember all of my fellow soldiers on this day. I recall the sacrifices made by generations of Americans to bring us to this day, that our freedoms have been hard fought for and earned on the blood and sacrifices of many others, only to be squandered by Obamas efforts to make our nation into a third world wasteland.

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