VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Family, friends and supporters of fallen Marine, 19-year-old Cody Childers, kicked off their 11th annual golf tournament at the Broad Bay golf course Thursday to keep his legacy going.
"He was a really special kid," said Randy Childers, Cody's father. "He had his stuff together when he was 15. I mean, he was amazing. Not just because he was my son, but he really was a special kid."
In August of 2010, Cody's parents received the devastating news that their son was killed in Afghanistan.
Only 19 when he died, his Marine brothers who fought alongside him describe it as a terrible day.
"We were and still are a very tight-knit group, so losing him was the hardest day of my life," one of Cody's fellow Marines described. "I know that I can speak for the rest of them. A piece of us was lost that day."
To help cope with the pain, Cody's parents decided to send care packages to Marines in his honor. John Voorhees, a family friend, wanted to help out and started a golf tournament to raise money for the care packages.
"It's a real way we can help give back," Voorhees said. "It has grown, but I never imagined it would get to this point."
"As long as people want to do this, I want to continue to support them," he added.
The packages are filled with plenty of snacks, Covert Thread socks, Gatorade, batteries, books and anything that will make them smile. For the Childers, it's a way to pay homage to their son and the Marines he loved.
"We often think, 'What would he be doing now?' But we just love him and miss him every day," Randy Childers said.
Organizers aim to raise over $30,000 in this year's golf tournament. Officials say the money will go towards preparing to send out Christmas care packages.