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Cody Engen

“Cody declared he wanted to be a Marine at the age of five, he never wavered from this goal, he joined the Young Marines at the age of twelve after the Twin Towers fell and the day after his high school graduation, he left for MCRD San Diego.

Cody was honorably discharged from the Marine Corp after serving for four years with the 2nd Light Armored Recon. as a gunner. He was also the designated marksman for his company in O.I.F. He was diagnosed with TBI/PTS after his tour in Afghanistan after an IED explosion.

He didn’t want to be called a hero and kept his numerous citations and medals out of sight.
He loved surfing off of Onslow Beach, Camp Lejeune, N.C., he said it relaxed him.

He had a hard time adjusting to landlocked South Dakota when he came back, it wasn’t home anymore, his home was with his band of brothers.
He suffered from survivor guilt and he said he felt like he was deserting his unit as they had been deployed back to the ‘Ghan.

His doctor in North Carolina recommended intensive in-patient treatment for at least six months, but Cody denied he had a problem, promised his Dr. he would get help immediately when he got back to South Dakota, which he did, but the help wasn’t immediate and he was given pain meds and other controlled meds.

Cody loved the Marines and loved being a Marine and told his family not to think badly or blame the Marines for his PTS or TBI.
In his letters, calls and emails home, he was proud of the job the Marines were doing, he was an idealist and believed that one person could change the world.

Three months after he returned home, he had a PTS episode where he felt like justice wasn’t being served about a complaint he had filed with the Sheriff’s Office, he went to take care of the complaint himself, in the early hours of Sept. 6th, 2011 Cody was gunned down in his hometown where he was born and raised.

On a day when there are fluffy clouds in the sky, I imagine him surfing the clouds with not a worry or care.

Cody used to plant sunflowers as a joke in his mother’s perennial garden, the Summer after he left, three sunflowers grew in his mother’s perennial garden, not believing in superstitions or signs, his mother let them grow and believed they were a gift from her son. One each for the three people who loved him the most, his parents and little sister.”
lovingly shared by Cody’s mom