Philomath mourns 2007 graduate killed in Afghanistan

      PHILOMATH, Ore. - Cody Patterson graduated Philomath High School in 2007.

      He enlisted in the Army in January 2012.

      A month into his second deployment to Afghanistan, he was part of mission Sunday to stop a suicide bomber.

      The mission succeeded, but Patterson and three other soldiers lost their lives to an IED during the operation.

      "I am proud of him, I am," said Jon Barlow, assitant principal at Philomath High. "I think we all are, and deeply moved and filled with sorrow at his loss.

      "He was a football player, a hard hitter, a hard worker, captain of the football team," Barlow said. "The kids wear their uniforms before the games, I can just see him, I can just see him, and he's not here, so that's the hard part, he's not here."

      School staff called Patterson the classic hometown kid. He participated in a male pageant contest the school holds annually and won the title Mr. PHS.

      A major factor in the judging is raising money for Doernbecher Children's Hospital.