ELDORA, Iowa — After a freak accident at a Marine camp took his life, Eldora says farewell to 20-year-old Cody Haley.
Lance Corporal Haley died at Camp Pendelton in California when a tree fell on him during routine training. On Saturday, his family–his relatives as well as the men and women he served with–said goodbye.
At first it was in doubt if Cody Haley’s platoon would be able to make it to Iowa for the funeral service. Thanks to several Marine family organizations and donations from regular folks, his funeral was attended by members of his platoon.
“Incredible. Like the amount of money we were able to raise on his behalf, to send him off the right way…it brought tears to a lot of guys’ eyes,” said Sergeant Freemon Draw.
Draw describes Cody as his little brother.
“Just as a guy, huge heart, huge heart. The amount of love this young kid had was just immeasurable. He definitely always had my back in life, I knew he had it, and as well as in the Marine Corps,” said Draw.
It seemed like the entire town returned the favor. Hundreds of people were in attendance, including the Patriot Guard Riders of Iowa, a motorcycle group that gave Cody and his family a roaring escort to the cemetery.
“We come to not only recognize the person that’s passed, but to show respect to the family and know that they’re not alone. It’s really kind of a heartwarming and heart wrenching experience at the same time, but it really means a lot to the families when you see the effect that it has on them,” said State Captain Steve Cox.
A final farewell to a son, brother, and U.S. Marine.
“Although he was taken a little too soon from us, he definitely made his parents proud, he definitely made his country proud, and I’m dammed sure proud to have known him,” said Draw.
Haley was buried at Riverside Cemetery.