Cody James has always had a passion for music. At age 15, the New Jersey native picked up a bass guitar, bonded instantly with it as a conduit to express both sorrow and joy–-and, of course, as a way to make new friends. He learned by ear. Invited to play with bands whose styles and lineups differed greatly, Cody began adding guitar, backup and lead vocals to his repertoire in a quest to establish his own “voice.” But soon another passion began to command his attention: his inherent love of discipline in the service of a purpose greater than one’s self. In 1992, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Cody’s subsequent training as an aircraft mechanic drew on his natural technical abilities. He was then encouraged to become an officer and Marine Corps helicopter pilot and, after the horrific events of 9/11, would participate as such in the initial invasion of Afghanistan. A helicopter crash on an Afghan mountain in the winter of 2002 nearly ended Cody’s life. Two fellow Marines died. Severely injured along with three other survivors, Cody waited on the remote mountain for many hours as complications of battle-stressed forces delayed rescue. Once returned to service, he would be medically retired two-and-a-half years later. A long descent into addiction then began within the VA system of opiate-based treatment, until Cody’s own core of determined discipline took over. After 10 years of prescribed overmedication, he successfully weaned himself from the VA and all pharmaceuticals. His Pensacola, Florida, flight-school experience had opened a special place in Cody’s heart for the Gulf Coast area. The region’s rich musical traditions and penchant for performers of all styles reignited his passion for music, and he relocated to its small town of Gulf Breeze. His love of songwriting intact, Cody set out to capture in his songs the visceral responses he’d had to addiction, isolation, anxiety, heartbreak, regret and, finally, to the beauty that had brought him back home to music. Release of his initial EP was unexpectedly halted when, after years of putting off writing about his near death on a faraway mountain, Cody James found himself writing that pivotal moment of his life into a hauntingly beautiful song. Soon more songs came, weaving threads of wartime experience into a musical tapestry of tragedy and ultimate redemption. A full-length album of these is due to be released in the late fall of 2017.