Philomath soldier killed in Afghanistan

Philomath soldier killed in Afghanistan

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by Michael Rollins, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on October 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8:17 AM

PHILOMATH, Ore. -- A soldier from Philomath was killed along with three others after a roadside bomb exploded Sunday in the Zhari District of Afghanistan.

Cody Patterson, 24, was a 2007 graduate of Philomath High, said assistant principal Jon Bartlow.

Patterson "was a wonderful kid . . . a genuine leader" and captain of the football team, Bartlow said. He was also a counselor to sixth graders in an outdoor program.

Patterson was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Fort Benning, Ga.

A 2007 story in the Corvallis Gazette-Times lists Patterson as one of several contestants for "Mr. PHS."  The event was a fundraiser for Doernbecher Children's Hospital. Each contestant raised money for several weeks before entering a talent competition that included dance and karaoke, for which Patterson mimicked Jimmy Buffet singing "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Other events included a doughnut sale, car wash and barbecue lunches.

Patterson won the competition. He and classmates raised $3,500 for the hospital, according to the newspaper. The theme for "Mr. PHS" that year was "Your Everyday Superheroes."

An article in North Carolina's Fayetteville Observer said Patterson was providing support for 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, (pictured here) who had volunteered to serve on a "Cultural Support Team." Her job was to contact Afghani women in situations culturally inappropriate for male soldiers. She was also killed.

The Corvallis Gazette-Times reports that the four were killed as part of a response to reports of an imminent suicide bomber attack.

His commanders had high praises for the four soldiers killed. Patterson was called out for his "limitless future" and was described as "a poster child" for the 75th Ranger Regiment.

"Pfc. Cody Patterson had a limitless future," Col. Christopher S. Vanek, 75th Ranger Regiment commander said in a prepared statement. "He would have been successful in whatever path he had chosen in life. He chose to serve his country by volunteering for the most difficult and challenging duties of a United States Army Ranger. His loss is devastating to his fellow Rangers, our Army and our nation. Our country was fortunate that he chose to serve in our ranks. Our thoughts and prayers are with this young Ranger's family."

Patterson was posthumously awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart and NATO Medal.

His other awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.

Patterson is survived by his mother, Nancy R. Wilson of Corvallis, Ore., and his father, Randy L. Patterson, and his sister, Taylor, both of Philomath, Ore. He is also survived by sisters and brothers Nicole Patterson, Letitia Williams, Elijah Williams, Kapriel Wilson and Mara Wilson.

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