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Heroes Among Us: Willie C. Marcus

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 9:54 AM EDT
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MITCHELL Co., Ga. (WALB) - Each month, WALB and Montlick and Associates recognize the “Heroes Among Us.” We spotlight an active duty man or woman, a veteran or a fallen hero.

This month, we’re honoring and remembering Willie C. Marcus from Mitchell County.

“He was not a very vocal guy, but he was a straightforward man,” his son Jason Marcus recalled. “He made sure that we understood the rules as children, and as we grew up into our preteens to our teenage years, he enforced the rules in the home.”

Willie didn’t talk to his children much about his time in the Army when he served as a paratrooper during the Vietnam War.

“He was a squad leader when he went over to Vietnam,” Jason said. “Basically, he had to see that his fellow buddies were taken care of and that they were in a position where they were mentally and physically and emotionally ready to do battle.”

Jason said when his dad got back home, he struggled with things that happened in battle.

“I was often told by my mother that he had quite a few nightmares in the early years,” he said.

This month's "Hero Among Us" is Willie C. Marcus from Mitchell County. His family said he passed away last year because...

Posted by Emileigh Forrester WALB on Thursday, May 27, 2021

However, when he got out of the Army, Willie worked through that and eventually turned his focus to equal rights for everyone in Mitchell County.

“He felt like equal rights should be given to all people,” Jason said. “At one particular place in Camilla that they call the chicken house, he was the person that started the labor, for the people there to try to get them equal pay and equal rights.”

His family said Willie died of COVID-19 in April 2020.

“I remember the last conversation we were having. The doctors came in and they immediately needed him to get off the phone and shortly after that, he was put on a ventilator,” Jason said. “Things just went downhill from that day forth.”

After his father’s death, Jason said he found out just how generous the man he looked up to was.

“There are some things that he’s done that I had no clue until his passing,” he said. “I’ve heard people talk about the things that he did. How he went and did shopping for the elderly. He helped people save their houses by giving money from his pocket. There was not a circumstance, there was not a need that he wouldn’t give his last if he had to. I think that was just a part of his nature.”

If you know a special military hero you want to nominate, click here.

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