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Local veterans honor Vietnam veteran buried in unmarked grave

On Sunday the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 93 placed a permanent marker in Southside...
On Sunday the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 93 placed a permanent marker in Southside Cemetery, paying tribute to Corporal Julius Mitchell.(WCTV)
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 9:27 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -Local veterans are saluting a soldier who is gone but will never be forgotten.

On Sunday the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 93 placed a permanent marker in Southside Cemetery, paying tribute to Corporal Julius Mitchell.

Half sister Patricia Pope grew up with Mitchell, and remembers the day he joined the Army.

“Sis, I’m going in. If I don’t come back, still love me,” remembers Pope.

Corp. Mitchell was killed serving his country in Vietnam. He was just nineteen years old.

“I prayed about it so I could get it off my heart that he was gone and that he would not come back,” Pope said. “My mother and I went all over this cemetery trying to look for Julius, we couldn’t find him.”

Pope says Mitchell came home to be laid to rest at the Southside Cemetery. He never got a headstone, and his family was never told where he was buried.

Fifty years later, his sacrifice is remembered.

“Our mission is to let those families know and to let people know that we appreciate the sacrifice that these men made,” said David Wilson.

Through searching records, Wilson, with the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 96, determined Mitchell was buried in an unmarked grave.

On Sunday more than a dozen local veterans honored the Corporal, placing a permanent marker in the cemetery detailing his story, and paying tribute to a hero among his family and old friends.

The group recognizes his bravery with a ‘hero rock’ placed at the base of the sign, alongside the Red, White and Blue.

“It means so much because we had nothing to put in his honor,” Pope said. “It makes me happy, I’m happy inside.”

Pope says now they have a place to share Mitchell’s story with new generations, and his memory will live on.

“So we say his name out loud and he’s not forgotten,” Wilson said.

Wilson and a group of volunteers continue searching for soldiers buried in unmarked graves across North Florida and South Georgia. They plan to hold similar ceremonies for each one who is located.

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