MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Cody Board wanted to serve in the Army since he was a young boy. But his family’s worst nightmare came true when he was killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan last week.
On Saturday, loved ones paid their final respects to the 19-year-old at the Our Savior Lutheran Church in McKinney.
“[I] did not know him, but he could have been my grandson,” said Sandie Pinkston, a McKinney resident.
Board graduated from McKinney North High School. He was killed Oct. 4 by an IED while on active duty in Afghanistan.
“I’m here to support a young man that gave his life for our country. We’re here to support him and his family,” said Anmarie Bozick.
Complete strangers lined the streets in front of the church to show solidarity and support for Board’s family.
“I needed to be here. There was some concern that there might be some people out here that are going to be disrespectful – there isn’t time for disrespect. This is a time for honor,” said Bozick.
Tensions were high this morning; members of the extremist Westboro Baptist Church announced they would be at the funeral to protest the war.
“We didn’t want them to be the only voice – so we got as many people as we could and we made signs,” said Bill Hamlett.
But the protestors never surfaced. And when it was time for Board to leave, more strangers lined the street. Motorcycles led a procession, and the Patriot Guard Riders escorted him to his final resting place in Fort Sill, Okla.
Board wanted to be like his father and grandfather, and decided to be an infantryman. His grandfather said Cody could have had any job in the Army.
His little brother said he will still follow in Cody’s footsteps and join the Army. The funeral procession for Pfc. Board made its way through Oklahoma toll-free.
The Turnpike Authority said it received more than 100 phone calls after word spread that people in the procession would have to pay the toll along Interstate 44. But late Friday, the State Transportation Secretary and the Turnpike Authority chairman agreed to cover the cost for the $1.40 tolls – which equated to about $420.