Monday, January 30, 2012

My Interview with Cody Jackson - The One Boy USO

I recently was informed about a very special child in the Georgia region who regularly goes to his local airport to say thank you to our men and women returning from various deployments. His name is Cody Jackson and at the age of eight years old has shaken the hands of more members of our military than most of us will in our entire lives. We could all learn a lot from the dedication this young man shows to our men and women in uniform and hopefully reading this will inspire some of you to do the same.

I recently sent his mom Kelly Jackson a request for an interview and her and Cody both replied to my questions below.

Cody with his family

Thankasoldier : When did Cody start this effort and what lead him want to start welcoming home soldiers?
Kelly Jackson : Cody has thanked police and firemen since 2 years old and it was only after we explained 9/11 to him when he was 4 years old that he took thanking our military as his own mission. He would thank them where ever we might be, even chasing down veterans (looking for those hats)

Thankasoldier : What is the reaction of the troops when they see you coming to shake their hands?
Kelly Jackson : Most are so very busy, but you can tell by the smile they get that they are at the very least amused I would hope they are grateful, but I try to stay out of the way and let Cody do his own thing...I try and thank them afterward, but whatever conversation he has is usually between the soldier and the boy.

Cody : they say thank you and go on their way, it is the few that actually stop and kneel down to talk a little, and tell him they do appreciate it.

Thankasoldier : What is the most memorable moment you've had in the time you have been doing this?
Cody : there are a few, touring the USS Truman, Major Krick of the Marines giving me a full Marine uniform complete with name tapes, and of course just the smiles on the guys faces.

Thankasoldier : What would you say to other young people who may not share the same views as you do?
Cody : It is the right thing to do. They don't have to risk their lives, they chose to do it and we should be thankful, I get teased a little bit but that doesn’t bother me any

Thankasoldier : We saw a soldier giving you a coin on the CNN story how many items have you received from troops and what would be your favourite?
Cody : I’ve gotten maybe 25 or so patches, coins, pins, and even awards. He cant think of one that is more special than the others...except maybe the ones given to him by his grandfather. Every one is special, they came from a hero

Thankasoldier : How many soldiers has cody said “Thank You” to ?
Kelly  Jackson : at least 10,000. January 4,2012 there are at least 5000-6000, Cody spent hours going down the line shaking hands. Many, many other trips there would be 500-600, just add it up along with all the others he sees day to day at the stores, amusement parks, etc.

Thankasoldier : When you're not at the airport welcoming home our serving men and women what do you like to do for fun?
Cody : I play baseball, boyscouts, i like to shoot and just play outside

Thankasoldier : I'm sure your parents are very proud of you how involved are they in what you do?
Kelly Jackson : We will help him with "advertising" to get his donations, drive him to and from airports, we are helping with his books for publishing, but generally we are just the gophers...go fer this, go fer that. He is the main power, if he said he was done, we would have to stop...but I don’t see that happening!

Thankasoldier : Not only do you welcome home our troops but you also send care packages to troops, how many of these have you sent over?
Kelly  Jackson : It would take months to collect $100 to send a package, and we would pay the $50 to ship it, so we havent had the opportunity to do a lot of shipping. Previous to the CNN airing, he only shipped 2 (a 6 month effort). We have since shipped 3 more, within one month. Quite a feat!

Cody : We have enough funds for another 3 boxes, then we will be out of funds again, and will have to start saving up!

Thankasoldier : Some Marines call you the "Little Marine" do you have plans to join the Marine Corps when you are old enough?
Cody : Yes, I want to be a sniper!!

Click Here to check out Cody's Facebook page "The One Boy USO" 


  1. Thank you Dave for sharing this wonderful story about Cody and how he does and says "Thank You" to the military personal, that is so AWESOME!!!

  2. What an inspiring story and wonderful young man!! In my opinion, what makes is more special is that he is doing something with his time, not out soliciting - but giving of himself!!!

    What a marvelous role model for our younger generation!!


    Darlene Fritsche

  3. Thanks for sharing this patriotic story. I am so proud of the kid. I feel like he will be a wonderful soldier when he grows up. I am proud to know he will be protecting our nation and me one day. I also want to say THANK YOU to all the soldiers again. You are our heroes and our protection....God Bless you all...THANK YOU...

  4. Cory you are an Awesome kid and your parents should be very proud of you. May God Bless you & Protect you & your family to continue your travels. You are the Solider's Hero..... Thank You....

  5. Cody is an awesome young man. His heart is as big as he is. Cody's future will bring him and his family so much joy. God Bless Cody and his parents for bringing up such a wonderful young man.
    God Bless the men and women of our military, The U.S.A. and Cody!!!

  6. Thank You Cody! It's young men like you that give me hope for our country, yet! Keep up the great work! You're an inspiration to many! God Bless!!

  7. What an awesome kid!! Nothing can touch your heart like a child and to see him welcoming these soldiers home n thanking them totally warms their hearts and its a reward of their heroic work our soldiers do to keep us all safe while helping other countries!! God bless n keep them all n lil Cody safe..:)Thanx for sharing!!

  8. Cody, You can get the flat rate military box to send to troops out of the US. These cost $12.95 each to send. There is no weight limit. Fit as much as you can into each box. Congratulations on all you do for the returning troops.

  9. God Bless this kid. He knows what every American should know and be grateful for! Those guys are willing to scarifice their lives for you!

  10. My husband was in the Army for 17 years. When he came home from Vietnam he was spit on. He would like more kids like Cody seeing us come home. If you ever need anything just let Sgt. Patrick E Reno of the United States Army know and if its possible he will help.I would like to keep in touch with such a great kid my e-mail address is Thanks for being so special.

    1. Cody Jackson is publishing a book called Pint-Sized Patriots: Coloring and Activity Book. A portion of all sales proceeds will go toward funding his care packages for troops overseas. We'd love your help spreading the word and supporting Cody's latest mission to encourage patriotism and thank our troops.

  11. Cody I am an Aussie Vet, and I wish I had you meet me at the airport when I arrived home from duty. It may not seem like it but it means a lot to be met by a smile or two and especially from a young lad.
    I hope you grow into a fine young man and achive all your goals in life, as for your Mum & Dad, they deserve the highest praise for supporting and guiding you along your path, so it is I who salute you son with honour

  12. Cody, you are a fine example of how we all should treat our military personnel. I applaud your efforts and hope they continue. God bless you.

  13. I first saw Cody, on CNN. Loved this interview, he is a special young man. Can you tell us how we can donate to his care package program. I can be reached at

  14. what an incredible young boy he is and he must be a great honor to his must be proud of him. it`s heartwarming to see a young boy like him with so much honor and respect for all the military. shame there isnt more people like him. keep up the good work Cody you truly are an amazing youmg man.

    M.Mullins. ex british army.

  15. We would love to have Cody at our Fishing For Freedom Quincy, IL Event June 2nd & 3rd, 2012 in Quincy, IL. Please checkout our Facebook page for more info: