by Samuel Abels
Honoring the memories of those you love is a powerful thing, and it’s something that must be handled delicately. It takes an extra mile to ensure their memory is encapsulated in a way that reminds people of the best and brightest parts of their life, and this is no exception to the idea.
Started a year ago, the automobile-based event that honors SPC Cody R. Flanagan’s life and service to the West Virginia National Guard is one such event that encapsulates an aspect of the 24-year-old serviceman’s interests and ambitions that his loved ones shall remember him greatly for. “We started this last year,” Lendal Flanagan, Cody’s father, said. “Cody had always been a car fanatic. He was a diesel mechanic for the Army National Guard. Half of the videos on his phone were of cars.”
Mr. Flanagan’s son’s interests were not without a certain raw ambition, however. SPC Flanagan attended WVU Parkersburg for a period, attaining a welding certification, and held two jobs: one at the Skyline Steel company, and the other at the local Pizza Place on weekends. “He was not without a job,” Mr. Flanagan said.
Cody entered his service to the West Virginia National Guard as a volunteer, ultimately specializing in being a diesel mechanic. “Cody was very proud of his service,” Mr. Flanagan said.
Mr. Flanagan says he has learned more this year than the last when it comes to their charitable work. It began with money that would have typically been spent on his son’s birthday or Christmas, and he put it towards something that ultimately led to a amount of $10,262 being raised within first year of conducting charity work.
The West Virginia National Guard Foundation houses “emergency funds” for servicemen and their families, helping them out in times of need, and offering general aid for them. Their acts also include aiding West Virginian Gold Star families, and the funds are ensured to stay 100% in the state of West Virginia. The money collected from Cody’s Cruise-In will go to benefiting the West Virginia National Guard Foundation and these parties.
Mr. Flanagan believes this year’s Cruise-In will yield a good turnout. “If you know somebody who’s a car fanatic, tell them to come on down,” Mr. Flanagan said.
The second annual Cody’s Cruise-In will take place on Saturday, September 8th at the Southside McDonald’s in South Parkersburg from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.