The American dream usually consists of being a homeowner, but for some, that’s easier said than done. However, sometimes hard work and determination, along with one’s service to his or her community, play a hand in helping achieve dreams.
That is the case for Fresno State student, veteran and Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Sen. Jordan Cody, who received a mortgage-free home from a nonprofit organization.
Growing up in a military family, Cody knew that after high school he wanted to be part of the family tradition. Unlike his father, Cody didn’t join the Army but decided that he wanted to “go hard,” and so he joined the Marines.
Born and raised in North Carolina, Cody is the second oldest of four children, and he is the only male of his siblings.
Cody knew that once he was in the Marines, there was only one job for him, infantryman. He wanted to be where the action was, and in his mind there was no doubt that in the infantry he would see action.
During his service in the Marines, Cody was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. There, he was deployed as part of a Navy mission to the Pacific Ocean.
While returning to the U.S., there was a volunteer opportunity for members of his unit to be deployed to Afghanistan. Cody was chosen from among 300 volunteers to be part of a detachment and was deployed right away to Afghanistan in order to help with Operation Enduring Freedom.
During his first deployment, Cody was stationed in Marjah, Afghanistan, from April to November in 2010.
His second deployment came the very next year, from September of 2011 to March of 2012, but this time he was deployed to Musa Qala, Afghanistan.
During his last deployment, Cody suffered an injury that caused him to be medically discharged from service once his unit came back from deployment.
Cody served in the military for six years and once out, he didn’t really know what he would do next. All he knew is that he wanted to go back to school and remain close to his daughter.
He decided to enroll in Fresno State, mainly because his daughter was going to live in the Central Valley with her mom. However, since he had been set on joining the military, his grades during high school were not the best.
So, Cody decided to take advantage of a service provided to veterans called the Veterans Education Program.
The program, which is part of the Continuing and Global Education division, helps veteran students who want to enter a four-year university, but might not have the grades to be admitted.
Cody explained that he was part of the program for two semesters and had to pass all the classes each semester to be officially admitted into the university.
“The Veterans Education Program is quite remarkable. It allows veterans a different pathway to get to a higher education,” Cody said.
Once he was admitted into the university, he participated in different community events and decided to be more active in the community and on campus.
“There are so many people here [at Fresno State] that care about veterans, and it really makes my time here a lot easier,” Cody said.
He became vice president of the student veterans organization and later started working with ASI, becoming a senator. As a member of ASI, he was able to be part of the ASI personnel committee and the programs for children committee, among others.
Cody will be graduating this spring with a degree in communications and has plans to pursue a law degree with an emphasis in family law. He has already been accepted into several law schools, but he is still waiting to hear from several more schools.
“I applied to multiple schools to keep my options open, but I don’t really have any intention to leave [the Central Valley],” Cody said.
Recently, Cody became the recipient of a mortgage-free home thanks to Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization based in Texas. Operation Homefront gives veterans and their families opportunities to own homes and build strong and stable families.
While transitioning out of the military, Cody had an opportunity to sign up for the program, and he did, thinking it might be a long shot.
Cody said that a few months back he had received a call from the Operation Homefront organization asking him a few questions and wanting a few references. That’s when he started thinking it might actually happen.
Once he was told that he was chosen to receive the house, Cody said it didn’t feel real. He said that now that he’s actually moving from his current apartment, everything is hitting him and now it feels real.
Cody still has much he wants to do, but his priority will always be his daughter, who is 4-years-old.
“I want to be a good father and role model to my daughter [and] I want to raise a productive member of society,” Cody said.