Private Cody Wayne Young, born June of 1991, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, beloved son to Gerald and Angie Young. Cody played both offense and defense in football for Edison High School and graduated in 2009.
Cody joined the National Guard on June 11, 2009 on his 18th Birthday and was deployed to Afghanistan, in June of 2011 and returned in January of 2012. He had his first Post-Traumatic Stress episode before the end of that month. Over the next year and a half, Cody’s episodes became more severe and frequent. Young’s family told the Tulsa World they had attempted to get him help over the years and that he had tried to get help for himself, as well. Ultimately, he said no one understood him, that the help he needed wasn’t available.
On May 21, 2014, PVT Cody Wayne Young, was shot and killed by Tulsa police while suffering through a Post-Traumatic Stress episode. He was 22 years old.
At his funeral on Tuesday, Pastor Terry Rush said Young had suffered a brain injury during an attack on his Humvee while in Afghanistan. He returned to service, was eventually discharged and came home a changed person, although some of that old “Whiskey Wayne” remained, friends said.
“You could see, just by the people who are here today and how many people are here today, the kind of person he was,” said Preston Wilson, who attended Edison High School with Young and said he saw him just two days before he died.
“Everybody loved him,” Wilson said. “He always just wanted to be around people. That’s the kind of guy he was. People just wanted to be around him.”
Pictures of Young at the funeral displayed that personality. In the pictures, Young, shirtless, with a grenade tattooed on his chest, was almost always seen with a smile on his face and his arms wrapped around friends.
Wilson said he could tell Young was different when he returned from Afghanistan, but he said he had no idea just how strong the demons Young faced were.