One young boy is making a difference in the lives of service members young and old this holiday season.
Fourth-grader Cody Jackson goes to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport a few times a month. He was given the nickname "One Boy USO" after making it his mission to thank troops in a number of ways.
"Thank you for protecting us," Cody said to a member of the military.
It's not often you see a 9-year-old hanging out at the airport. But that's what Cody does at least twice a month.
"I like thanking the soldiers and instead of staying home and playing, I wanted to go to the airport and thank the soldiers," Cody said.
He sprints across the airport to greet soldiers in uniform. He even leaves a bag of goodies for a sleeping soldier.
"It's the right thing to do and they're protecting us and fighting for our country," Cody said.
Jackson was only 4 years old when he asked his parents why the wait at the airport was so long.
"They told me about 9/11 and she said, 'There's a soldier over there, go thank them,' and it started from there," Cody said.
Since then Cody packs care packages to send overseas. They are full of things he'd want if he was away from home. Cody has shipped over 1,800 pounds of stuff in the past five years.
He's greeted more than 6,000 troops, either welcoming them home or sending them off.
"They're putting their lives at risk and I want them to feel at home," Cody said.
There is no stopping this One Boy USO.
"It feels really good. I think it makes them feel good and I really like thanking the soldiers," Cody said.
Soldiers appreciate it.
"It really makes me feel good to know that he really cared enough to give me a little bag of candy. It lets me know that what we're doing is for the right reasons," Pfc. Cody Allen said.
"I can't tell you how much that actually helped us and put a smile on our face, especially for the guys who are going to Kuwait," Psc. Kevin Leonhart said.
Cody will be given the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in January. In order to be considered for it, a person must have completed 100 hours of community service.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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