ELDORA – We’re learning more about the Hardin County man killed during his U.S. Marine training in California. His friends and coaches say he was really starting to grow up before he was killed in a strange accident.
The community of Eldora is still mourning the loss of one of its strong former high school stars. Cody Haley played a lot of sports here at South Hardin High School, but he’s best remembered as
being a strong leader and an even better friend.
“It was terrible,” said Spencer Higgason, a friend since he was in eighth grade. “I couldn’t believe it at first. It was numbing, I didn’t know what to do, what to think and I hope I never have to experience that again.”
“I’m getting a little emotional just thinking about it right now,” said Jeff Butler, an assistant football coach at South Hardi. “It’s just hard to believe he was so young and he’s just gone, just like that.”
On this practice field, Haley often showed off his trademark tenacity.
“If he was playing, he was right in the middle of it,” said Layne Nelson, a long-time friend. “He was really ornery, he was mean, and if he wasn’t playing, he was just as mean, just a little more funny, I guess.”
All across the community, people knew Cody Haley.
“Cody was just a genuine good kid,” said his mother, Kim Haley. “He was fun, he liked everybody, and he was the class clown.”
At Casey’s they’ve started a collection to help the family pay for his funeral.
“He’s going to be truly missed around here,” said Jackie Sayer, a worker at Casey’s in Eldora. “I’ll miss his smiling face when he comes in.”
From the time Cody was in middle school, his mom figured he’d be a great fit to serve.
“He loved guns, he loved hunting. He liked the outside. He was just rough and tumble,” said Kim Haley.
“He was always down to do whatever. We would get into a lot of trouble, but it was a lot of fun and I’ll never forget him,” said Haley’s friend, Ted Dunn.
And his devotion to his friends will always stand out.
He was always looking out for me, and making sure I was staying out of trouble,” said Higgason.
In addition to the all of the money the Casey’s is raising, all five Green Belt Bank and Trust locations will be collecting money to bring his fellow Marines in town for the activities surrounding his funeral.
The family is still working to finalize the visitation and funeral service plans for Cody. One thing is definitive, though. Cody’s younger brother, Colton, will wear his brother’s No. 10 onto the field when the team plays its game on Aug. 18.