Airman Cody Boswell received a hero’s welcome on Saturday, May 15, in the company of family and friends.
Boswell may not consider himself a hero, but his unwavering commitment to the U.S. Air Force and willingness to make sacrifices speak for themselves. His and his brothers’ service commands respect and admiration.
In a touching introduction at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in McNairy, Nelson Siler shared a heart felt message: “No one could have a grandson-in-law that is more patriotic and kind. Some of you don’t know that he volunteered for the mission that he went on.”
“A lot of people are patriotic,” added Siler, “but when it comes to doing something, they are not as patriotic as they thought they were. I appreciate everyone being here today–special people together for a special guy for a very special service.”
Boswell also enjoyed a home-cooked meal, once again surrounded by loved ones. Among those present were his wife Mikayla and their foster child, M.J, whom he and Mikayla are working to adopt later this year.
Boswell recently served on a special service mission in Iraq. While there, he and his comrade worked in tandem with over 40 additional soldiers, each of whom took considerable personal risk to make this world a better place. When describing his experience, Boswell denied the popular notions of Iraq and the Middle East as dusty, sandy deserts; in reality, he states, there are very modernized areas with beautiful cities. “You can get a sense of comfort, until there is a drone flying one way into a building just next to yours, and that comfort goes away,” recalls Boswell. “You hear of third world countries, but seeing it is a different thing.”
He cites local tensions and the number of active players in the Middle Eastern theatre as primary causes of the strife that he witnessed.
“Syria has probably caught it more than anyone, with the exception of Baghdad back in 2004 and the insurgence there, but they have done a pretty good job of building it back up,” Boswell compliments.
Boswell was stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois for seven years before volunteering to be a tech school instructor for air traffic control at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi.
“I did not think I would deploy out of there. After talking to the chief of training, I told him what I wanted to do, and he set everything in motion for me. That was my first deployment in nine years,” said Bowell.
In October 2020, Boswell was deployed for his mission and returned in April 2021.
“There is a lot that I can’t say, but I was assigned to a special operations counter terrorism unit and served for six months as a combat airspace superintendent. It was a joint task force on a two-man team, but our task force all together was about 40-50 in total,” Boswell told.
“We were very effective in our mission. We accomplished everything we wanted to do and lost no one on the team,” stated Boswell.
Boswell’s wife, Mikayla Siler Boswell, is a member of Mt. Zion Church, which held the welcome home party.
“Every time we come home, we come here to the church who helped raise her,” Boswell said.
Boswell graduated Adamsville High School in 2011; in November of the same year, Boswell joined the Air Force. His younger brother, Hunter, also joined the Air Force after high school. Josh, Boswell’s older brother, later became the third brother to join the Air Force after graduating from the University of Memphis.
“Josh saw how it was for us in the Air Force–how our lives had been changed by getting to do pretty unique stuff every day,” remembers Boswell. Josh commissioned in 2018 and is currently serving as a nurse.
The three brothers don’t see each other often, but they cherish the times that they do.
“When I graduated high school, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do,” recounts Cody Boswell. “I was aiming really high and came to understand that the expense of going to dental school was not easy. One day, I decided to take an entrance exam for the military–the ASVAB; the recruiter called, and I did some research. An air traffic control position was marketable outside the military, so I took it.”
“The Air Force is like a family: it connects you with people [who] have the military in common. There are a lot of positive things. You get a job, you are trained, and then you become an expert. The educational offerings are invaluable. Now that I have two associate degrees and one bachelor’s degree, it is time for me to fly,” said Boswell, who looks to commission as a pilot.
Boswell plans to remain in the military and continue to serve his country. For him, it is a career.