Cody DeYoung spent a year of active duty in Djibouti, Africa, as a liaison officer for Djiboutian and French Military coordinating training sessions for personnel in the area.
His wife Lacy, who grew up in Bishop, found out she was having a baby within a week of learning he would be deployed. Five months into his service he came home to see the birth of his son, Liam, and after a brief stay in the States, flew to Djibouti to finish his year of active duty.
The DeYoungs live in Broomfield, Colo. Cody was planning on flying back to Denver upon the end of his tour, but upon hearing his family was camping in Mono County and attending the Tri-County fair, he had his flight rerouted to Mammoth.
His wife had moved to Bishop during his deployment.
Shortly before landing Saturday, the pilot could be heard over the intercom saying there was a special ceremony awaiting a military personnel who was on the flight. The pilot then named Cody DeYoung, and asked that passengers allow him to exit the plane first. DeYoung received a round of applause but didn’t know what to expect when the wheels touched the ground.
When he exited the plane, DeYoung saw “10-12 cop cars, 20 or so officers, my family and some community members there to support me.”
He got off the plane and was greeted by his wife and son before walking through about a dozen local law enforcement giving him a military salute.
“I had no idea that would happen, it was overwhelming. I saw my wife and my son who is now seven months old and then saw my family and I didn’t know what to think.” Said DeYoung, “It was an amazing experience, in a small-town; the community comes together for these things, but for me it was still unexpected.”
DeYoung even had the opportunity to meet a local mom’s group when he landed. The group had sent him care packages while he was abroad “The local law enforcement, the community outreach. The whole thing was humbling.”
On the significance of the welcome, “It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life.” He was extremely appreciative of the fire department and the police department as well as everyone who had a hand in making this happen.
Although DeYoung worked as a patrol officer for Denver Sheriff’s Department before transitioning to Lakewood Police Department (and then finally deploying for the army), a post by Mono County Sheriff’s department read “The uniforms are different colors but the goal is the same. Welcome home Cody, we thank you for your service”
Cody currently holds the military rank of captain and after his year of deployment will be transferred to the Army Reserves. He doesn’t believe he’ll be called up again, but you never know.