Staff Sgt. Rhode earns Purple Heart

by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor

Marine Staff Sgt. Cody Rhode continues to recover from wounds he suffered during an attack in Garmsir District, Afghanistan, Aug. 10.

The Rogers City native, who was awarded a Purple Heart medal Nov. 2, was among at least six others involved in the shooting.

The Marines attempted to escape the shooter through a small gap between a chain-link fence and wall of their location.

“(The objective) was getting everybody through the fence, and back to the compound to let everybody else know that this is what’s going on outside,” said Rhode in a story posted on the Marines’ Web site.

Rhode was the last one to get through the fence, but not before being shot four times, in the shoulder and leg. He barely noticed the first four wounds because of his high adrenaline. But the fifth shot shattered his elbow; he knew it was broken because he could see his arm dangling.

Rhode is the son of Larry and Jeanie Rhode of South Second Street, Rogers City.

“He is doing pretty good,” said Larry. He can move the elbow 105 degrees, but can only lift about two pounds with his right arm.” Rhode is unable to fully bend his arm inward because of the plate that currently holds his elbow together.

He is undergoing physical therapy four times a week near their home in San Diego, California. As of mid-November, he’s had six surgeries.

“Thank you all for your prayers and concerns for our son,” added Larry. His mailing address is Mr. and Mrs. Cody Rhode and family, 3123 Deerflower Road, San Diego, CA, 92115.

St. John Lutheran School students honored the Marine by dedicating a Westminster Park Christmas tree in his name.

THE ATTACK ultimately cost 3rd Marine Regiment the lives of Staff Sgt. Scott E. Dickinson, Cpl. Richard A. Rivera Jr. and Lance Cpl. Gregory T. Buckley, who were honored Oct. 29 in a memorial at Dewey Square at the marine base in Hawaii, the Web site story states.

The loss of his fellow Marines was like losing family members.

“You’re not just work partners,” Rhode said of his fellow Marines. “You’re not just people who do a job together. You had to be more than that.

“Our time there was spent patrolling the area daily in combined patrols or Marine patrols. The men were tough, always ready at a moment’s notice and proficient in all areas of policing and patrolling.”

Rhode received a Purple Heart medal Nov. 2 for the injuries he sustained in the attack. The 28-year-old was presented with the medal in a formation near the 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment offices.

The Web site story was written by Kristen Wong.