Friday Night Lights Remembrance for Soldier

By Ashanti Blaize
|  Friday, Oct 8, 2010  |  Updated 11:27 PM CDT
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McKinney North High School turned its post-game celebration Friday into a tribute to a graduate who was killed in Afghanistan.

Ashanti Blaize, NBCDFW.com

McKinney North High School turned its post-game celebration Friday into a tribute to a graduate who was killed in Afghanistan.

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McKinney North High School turned its post-game celebration Friday into a tribute to a graduate who was killed in Afghanistan.

Pfc. Cody Board, 19, was killed Oct. 4 at Mirwais, Afghanistan, after his unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device.

The school will hold a candlelight vigil for Board at a nearby elementary school after Friday night's football game. The vigil was originally scheduled for before the game but was changed because the players wanted to attend.

The school also honored Board during the game. His father and younger brother stood side-by-side as an Army Reserve color guard yelled out a roll call including his name. His relatives waited in silence as no one answered the call.

The football players wore his initials on the back of their helmets, and the cheerleaders painted them on their arms.

"He's watching us," said Chris Board, his father. "He'll know."

Pfc. Cody Board would have been 20 on Tuesday, his father said.

A uniformed officer informed his parents of their son's death in person earlier this week.

"I just thought to myself please, please, please just let him be OK," said Melissa Board, his mother. "And he told me, 'Ms. Board, I'm sorry to tell you this, but your son didn't make it.'"

Someone anonymously placed flags around the Boards' home.

"I just melted my heart -- spaced about every 10 to 12 feet in the grass was the small little flags," Chris Board said.

A service flag trimmed in red with a gold star, a sign of a fallen soldier, is displayed in the front window of the Boards' home.

His parents said he was the kind of man who could make you smile even in his pictures. Melissa Board said her son will be "missed so much."

"He was just a great kid," she said. "Everybody loved him."

Pfc. Cody Board was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment in Vilseck, Germany.

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