Tuesday, November 22, 2011
DEER PARK, TX (KTRK) -- The body of a 20-year-old soldier from La Porte arrived home on Saturday to a procession of friends, loved ones and supporters.
U.S. Army Private First Class Cody Norris was killed last week in Afghanistan.
A procession was held in honor of the infantryman as his body was returned home.
It was an emotional day for people across the soldier's hometown as many gathered to show support for him and his family.
More than 100 people lined the streets, waiting for the caravan so they could pay their respects to Norris.
"Cody was so proud to be in the Army, and so proud to represent his country," friend Laura Lynch said.
Norris' family was surpised by the outpouring of support from the community.
"'Seeing the community lined up down the street, and there at the airport, waving American flags and their signs saying, 'We love you Cody, thank you,' that means so much to the family," cousin Andy Teel said.
Teel said his cousin was killed by gunfire November 9 while in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
On Saturday, he remembered a conversation his cousin had during his last visit with family.
"He had a conversation with my father. Sat down, he goes, 'I love nothing more than going out on the patrols and looking for the bad guys and fighting for my country.' He goes, 'I would not change anything. I would do nothing else in the world. This is what I love to do. I love to fight for my country,'" Teel recalled.
And it's because of this La Porte High School graduate's service and sacrifice that the community came out to honor him.
"[He was] taken at a very young age, but I'll tell you what, he loved his country, he loved his family, and he paid a big price," family friend Sara Urich said. "Our hearts are just breaking today because of the loss that [his family is] having to go through. We've lost someone special as well."
The procession for Norris ended with a motorcade.
Friends say they'll remember his bubbly spirit and how he enjoyed making everyone smile.
"We love you Cody. We're going to miss you. You are our hero," Urich said.
Posted by Steve Douglass at 8:34 AM