Back in 2009, only a couple years out of high school and barely 20 years old, Cody Willett was in Afghanistan. He was already four months into his second overseas deployment and serving as an Air Force weapons supply technician for Special Operations teams. His base was attacked, and Cody was severely injured in a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) explosion. He was left with a fractured lower spine, dislocated shoulder and damaged ankle. He was medically evacuated to Germany and then back to the U.S. for treatment. Over time, Cody’s recovery from his physical injuries has been compounded by the emergence of invisible wounds of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that afflict so many combat veterans.
“It has been a long, hard, uphill battle,” Cody said.
Cody met his wife Jessica, a friend of his sister’s, when both visited him as he returned to the U.S. to recover. Jessica said she’s lucky that Cody chose her to be his forever. Cody’s take might be slightly less romantic but just as heartfelt. “My wife has been my rock through all of my issues, and she is the real hero,” he said. He wants to see Jessica rewarded for everything she does for the family. “It is hard to have to deal with work, children, life’s everyday problems and then to have a husband that is mentally suffering,” Cody said. “That is something she signed up for not knowing what it all entailed. I have never really asked for any help before, but I would try just about anything to repay my wife for all she does for me.”
Cody and Jessica have a 3-year-old son, Carter, and a baby girl on the way. They share a passion for football—especially the Buffalo Bills—country music and guitar. Cody works for the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office as a Computer Specialist. He has a keen interest in flying drones, an activity he is able to perform in his duties at work. He is studying IT and hopes to have a career in the field of digital forensics for the state of New York or the FBI.
The Willetts want to make their home comfortable and safe for their growing family, along with adapting it to Cody’s needs as he works toward a new career. With a baby on the way, and the fact that Cody is also recovering from a broken leg suffered when he slipped on some ice, the long list of needed home improvements has been placed on hold.
Our Military Makeover team is looking to give the Willets a hand up and relieve them of the burden of updating their home.