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Fly a flag for Cody: Army confirms Utah man died in Afghanistan explosion

Published: Saturday, May 18 2013 7:05 p.m. MDT

Jim Towse, father of Cody Towse, talks about his son at his home in Elk Ridge Saturday, May 18, 2013. Cody Towse was standing near an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan when it went off. The military has been unable to locate him.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

ELK RIDGE, Utah County — Jim Towse was already in bed, about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, when two men from the U.S. Army came to the door asking for him.

His initial reaction was he didn't want to answer the door. He knew immediately the news wouldn't be good.

An Army representative told Towse that his son, 21-year-old Private First Class Cody Towse, was standing next to a bomb in Afghanistan on Tuesday along with three other members of the Army, when the device exploded. Three were killed. Towse was listed as "missing in action."

Late Saturday, the Towse family again met with military officials who confirmed their son was killed and changed his status from missing to "killed in action." His body was flown to the U.S. for positive identification. Details of when Towse's body will be returned to Utah were pending Saturday night.

"It's tough. Nobody should have to bury their child," Jim Towse said Saturday before confirmation of his son's identity was made.

Cody Towse was never worried about being in Afghanistan, believing that the worst for U.S. troops was over.

"He thought things were winding down, definitely. He wasn't scared," his father said.

The last time he talked to his son, Cody told him that the terrorists were too chicken to come out and fight.

"Which is true. They're too chicken to fight. But they're not too chicken to plant a big bomb that will blow everybody up. But he wasn't worried. He loved it," his father recalled.

Towse wants the public to remember all the soldiers overseas, and to remember that the war is not over.

"I wish everybody who has a flag would put it out for Cody," he said.

The residents in his home of Elk Ridge didn't forget. Flags were put up all around the neighborhood and local businesses put messages on their marquees for Cody. Towse said he has been overwhelmed by the show of support for his son.

He called his son his best friend. They both listened to music from the 60s and 70s, particularly the Beatles, worked together and loved to hang out which each other.

"He was my boy. He was me. I love old cars, he loves old cars. Seems like everything I love, he loved. Our favorite place is In-n-Out (Burger)," he said. "My phone is just full of hours and hours of music (that Cody downloaded)."

Cody loved to help people and became an EMT the day after he turned 18. He also became a firefighter. He also loved long-boarding, which sometimes involved accidents. It's something his father said he was good at.

He recalled one time his son ended up in Primary Children's Medical Center for a week after a longboard crash. But he was spotted longboarding again before his cast was off.

Cody Towse also fell 17 feet out of a tree once and his father thought he had suffered fatal injuries. On another occasion, he almost drowned while trying to follow his father out into a lake.

"He thought he was invincible," his father recalled with a smile.

Cody Towse comes from a military family dating back to World War II.

Outside the Towse house now, the family has created a memorial using combat boots and a helmet that Cody left behind the last time he was home.

Contributing: Alex Cabrero

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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