Soldier killed in Vietnam awarded high school diploma

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Graduating from Stanton College Preparatory School is a family tradition for Patricia Jones.

Jones and three of her siblings all graduated from Stanton, and today she's here for her brother, who's getting his diploma with the class of 2014.

"It's been an ind

escribable day, just totally indescribable," she said.

If you'd look at her brother Edwin Jones's Stanton class picture, you'd think he'd fit right in with the class of 2014.

He's 18-years-old and baby faced in the picture Patricia carries around.

But it's a picture from 47 years ago, just before he decided to enlist in the Army.

"He thought he would go in after high school, but they took him before," she said.

He was deployed to Vietnam three months before his own graduation ceremony in 1967.

"He was a gentle soul, kind, giving, a loving brother and would do anything he could to help others."

Which is exactly what he did in battle as well.

Private First Class Jones was killed just a month at war.

His unit came under sniper fire, and he helped some of his comrades take cover.

He managed to take out one of the snipers, and save several fellow soldiers lives, before he was killed.

He was awarded a bronze star, a purple heart, and on Friday his high school diploma.

Patricia was there to accept it in his honor to a standing ovation from the Stanton graduating class and their families.

"Oh my God it was fantastic," she said. "It was bittersweet because he's not here."

Now Edwin's turn to carry on the Jones family tradition: An American hero, and Stanton graduate.

"I know he's beaming right now," she said. "He's beaming and so are my parents."


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