By ROBERT S. MERRILL
News that a Preston Army private had been killed in Afghanistan last week swept through this community like wildfire after word got out.
Independence Day celebrations in Dayton and in backyards were subdued as people realized the first soldier from Franklin County had been killed in combat during the wars in the Mideast.
Private First Class Cody O. Moosman, 24, of Preston, died Tuesday, July 3, in Gayan Alwara Mandi, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire, according to the Department of Defense.
Moosman is the son of Dennis and Mareen Moosman, of Preston.
The local Elks Lodge put up flags along Preston’s State Street in Moosman’s honor, where they remain. Flags were also placed around the Moosman home and neighborhood. The flag at Preston City Hall, the Franklin County Courthouse and in Benson Park were lowered to half staff.
The family provided the media with the following statement: “Cody told us when he was in third grade that he wanted to be in the Army when he grew up, so he joined in 2010 at age 22. We think his experience as a Boy Scout helped prepare him for his role as a soldier.” Moosman reached the rank of Eagle Scout.
“He loved the idea of protecting his fellow citizens. Our family enjoyed watching him stand up for America. Cody loved the outdoors, and hunting and fishing were his passion. He leaves behind his mother and father, two brothers and two sisters, his grandparents and his nieces and nephews who all very much adored him. We loved him, and we will miss him very much.”
The family of Pfc. Moosman requests privacy at this difficult time and they ask for no contact by reporters, according to a Department of Defense statement.
He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
Preston Mayor F. Lee Hendrickson said many of us go through life enjoying our freedoms without realizing the price it has cost.
“The cost is the lives of many, brave young soldiers, which has brought much pain and heartache to their families and friends. Our community is saddened by the loss of Cody Moosman, a brave young soldier who lost his life in defense of our country and our way of life,” said Hendrickson.
“We just need to listen to Lee Greenwood’s song, ‘God Bless the USA,’ for he tells it the way it is. From this day forward, I will listen with greater interest because of this great young man, Cody Moosman, who paid the ultimate price for our continued freedom, as have many others before him.”
Mayor Hendrickson said he hopes everyone will always remember the great price Moosman has paid and the loss it is to his family and the citizens of the community.
“My heart aches for his family and the loss they are experiencing. Let’s keep them in our thoughts and prayers. I’m very proud of Cody for the life he gave in behalf of this great country of the United States of America.”
“As fellow friends and members of the Preston North Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ, each of us extend our compassion to the Moosman family,” said Dax Keller, stake president.
“We want Dennis and Mareen to know that we are praying for them and that we love them. We express to Pfc. Moosman’s living siblings, Timothy, Shelly, Amanda and Doyle, as well as his grandparents Otho and Shirlene Moosman, that you are in our thoughts.
“This reminds us again of how precious loved ones are, of how important life is, and of the sacrifice so many in our area are willing to offer to serve our country. To the Moosman family we express our deepest gratitude for a hero’s sacrifice and that we mourn with them in this great loss.”
Franklin County Commission chair Dirk Bowles said freedom celebrations in the county and across Cache Valley were sobered at the loss of Pfc. Cody Moosman.
“Although we read of military deaths in other cities, states and countries, having that sacrifice hit one of our own young men and his stalwart family leaves us with a more profound definition of the cost of freedom.
“We extend sincere sympathy to Cody’s family and pray their memories of Cody will be clear and pleasant. May we all strive to honor his memory by better serving our community and country in our individual responsibilities,” said Bowles.
Ralph West, of the Preston Elks Lodge, said the thoughts and hearts of all members of the local Lodge are with the Moosman family.
“The Elks organization has always strongly supported our veterans and military. We are planning a military-type presentation to the Moosman family sometime in the near future,” he said.
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