11/4/2004 — Balad, Iraq
When Cody L. Wentz headed for Iraq, he made sure he didn''t have to leave his love for sports behind. The soldier had videotapes of games mailed to him weekly. He wanted to play in the NFL. That was his most important (goal) in his whole life, Joyce Wentz said of her son. If that didn''t work out, he planned to become a registered nurse and, eventually, an anesthesiologist, she said. The 21-year-old from Williston, N.D., was killed Nov. 4 when an explosive detonated near his vehicle. He was based in Williston. The soldier had an unusual knack for developing relationships with those he met, his family said. He was just loved by people, he got along with people, he respected people, which you don''t see nowadays, said his father, Kenneth Wentz.
WILLISTON, N.D. - Funeral services for Spc. Cody Lee Wentz, 21, of Williston, will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, 2004, at Williston High School Phil Jackson Field House. Please use the south gym doors.
Chaplin Capt. David Johnson will officiate and cremation will take place. Following the funeral service, lunch will be served at the old gym at Williston State College - use student center door.
Cody Lee Wentz was born Feb. 16, 1983, in Williston , the son of Kenneth and Joyce (Schultes) Wentz. He was raised in Williston and spent his elementary school years attending Hagan Elementary School. He graduated from Williston High School in May 2001. While in high school, he worked as a waiter at Bonanza, Jerry's Fireside, Missouri Mike's and Kalley's Kitchen.
Cody was a wonderful, caring and loving person. He liked a wide variety of music, everything from rock to country. His feelings for people was as diverse as his feelings for music, he loved people from young to old and people of all ages loved him as well. He had an unusual way of connecting with people of all ages … it was unique to the type of person that made Cody special.
Muscle cars of the 60s and 70s were a passion and his knowledge was unparalleled. He looked at them with a love and respect that is seldom seen.
Cody had a passion for football unmatched by anyone. He lived, ate and breathed the game. His hope and dream was to, one day, play as an NFL player. His knowledge of the game and his desire to study it had to be seen to be appreciated.
The only thing in the world that meant more to Cody than football was his family and friends. Anyone who knew Cody knew that underneath that big, tough exterior was the heart of a lion…a very tame and loving lion. His love and respect for friends and family was truly his defining trait as a person. Cody had a loving, caring personality we should all try to embrace and try to emulate as a race of people. The world will be a sadder place without him and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him or had the pleasure of having him touch their life.
His desire to succeed was only outdone by his desire to make everyone around him happy. He would lend a hand to help out anytime or anywhere. He truly was one of a kind, the best.
Cody enlisted in the National Guard in November 2000 and was deployed to Iraq on Feb. 16, 2004. He was a member of Company A of the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion. Cody lost his life while returning from a mission near Balad on Thursday night, Nov. 4.
Surviving Cody are his parents, Kenny and Joyce of Williston; two brothers, Kelly and his wife, Lori and their daughter, Elizabeth, of Dickinson, and Jason and his children, Dillon and Whitney, of Williston; paternal grandparents, Ray and Lois Wentz of Jamestown; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Preceding him in death were his maternal grandparents, Edna and Art Schultes; maternal grandmother, Deloris Wentz; and three aunts, Judy Davis, Dyann Schweigert, and Stella Schultes.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Coyote Foundation, PO Box 1407, Williston, N.D. 58802.
Friends may call from 1 until 7 p.m. Thursday and from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Friday at the Fulkerson Funeral Home in Williston.
Army Spc. Cody L. Wentz Died November 4, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
N.D. Guardsman killed in Iraq Humvee attack
WILLISTON, N.D. — An attack on a vehicle carrying three North Dakota National Guard soldiers in Iraq killed one of the soldiers and seriously wounded another, the Guard said Friday.
Spc. Cody Wentz, 21, of Williston, died in the attack, said Maj. Gen. Michael Haugen, the state Guard commander. Spc. Philip Sorenson, 21, of Williston, was taken to a hospital in Germany. The extent of his injuries was not known Friday night. A third soldier in the Humvee escaped injury.
The soldiers are members of Company A, 141st Engineer Combat Battalion. They were in a Humvee that was attacked with an explosive while returning from a mission near Balad on Thursday night, the Guard said.
“The entire North Dakota National Guard family is saddened by the loss of Specialist Wentz and the injury of Specialist Sorenson,” Haugen said. “As a family we will pull together, and we extend our support and prayers to their families.”
Gov. John Hoeven called Wentz a “brave North Dakotan and a brave American” and offered his condolences to the family. He said he and first lady Mikey Hoeven were praying for Sorenson.
Guard spokesman Rob Keller said members of a family support group were notifying all families of the soldiers in the 141st.
Wentz, who was single, enlisted in the Guard in November 2000, with Company B of the 164th Engineer Combat Battalion. He was promoted from private first class to specialist the day before he was killed. He was the son of Kenneth and Joyce Wentz, of Williston, and had two grown brothers.
Keller said Sorenson also is single.
Amy Wells, a spokeswoman for the Wentz family, said the family members were doing “as well as can be expected.”
She said the community has responded with “hugs and encouragement, gifts of food and kind words.”
“This is the first loss that Williston has had happen, and families ... are in shock and grieving the loss,” Wells said.
Funeral arrangements had not been made Friday night, she said. The Guard said a memorial service was being planned in Iraq.
Wentz’s death was the seventh among North Dakota National Guard soldiers serving in Iraq, and the tenth among U.S. service members from North Dakota or serving with North Dakota military units on duty in Iraq.
Three other members of the 141st have been killed in Iraq: Staff Sgt. Lance Koenig, 33, of Fargo, was killed in September; Spc. Philip Brown, 21, of Jamestown, and Spc. James Holmes, 28, of East Grand Forks, Minn., were killed in May. About 20 have been wounded.
About 475 members of the 141st are stationed in Iraq. They started arriving in Kuwait on Feb. 15, expecting to serve about a year. They are stationed mainly near Balad and Baqubah, just north of Baghdad, and near Tikrit, the home town of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.