Ten-year-old Cody Jackson, a 2013 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Hero, helps support the troops
Veterans Day is on November 11. It is a time to honor people who have served in the military. That is what Cody Jackson, 10, from Alpharetta, Georgia, does throughout the year. Cody visits airports to greet troops and has sent nearly 5,000 pounds of care packages to military members. He also wrote books to teach kids about patriotism, and sells the books on his website, 1boyuso.com, to pay for his package supplies.
For all his work, Cody was chosen as a 2013 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Hero. The 10 Huggable Heroes chosen each received $10,000, which includes an educational scholarship, a donation to a charity of their choice and a mentorship opportunity with the Jefferson Awards for Public Service.
Cody and his mom, Kelly, talked to TFK about his project and his feelings about being honored for it.
When and why did you decide to start your projects to thank members of the military?
It was when I was four years old. I was at the airport and it was taking so long [to get through the airport] and I saw soldiers. I asked my mom and dad why it was taking us so long and they told me about 9/11 and what the soldiers did that day. [They explained the soldiers were providing extra security to help keep us safe.] That is when I started to thank the troops.
You’ve sent more than 4,500 pounds of care packages to soldiers. How does sending them make you feel? How do you hope your packages make the soldiers feel?
Sending them makes me feel good. I hope [the packages make] the soldiers feel at home. I hope they show [the soldiers] that they are not forgotten.
How did it feel to be selected as a Huggable Hero?
It was really exciting and it felt really good that I won that money so I could send more packages to the troops and get more things.
What can kids do to help support the troops?
They can send [care] packages and thank the troops for risking their lives. If they want to help me or if they need some information they can go to my website [[or Facebook at One Boy USO]].
USO stands for United Service Organizations. It is a group that provides programs and services to lift the spirits of the military and their families. How did you get the nickname “One Boy USO”?
CODY'S MOM, KELLY:
Cody had been going to the airport [visiting troops] for a couple of years and always asking the USO if he could volunteer. He was 7 and 8 years old and was always told no because you have to be 18. A soldier heard this and said “don't worry about it, you’re your own USO!”