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Desperate search to find family, friends of fallen Ohio Marine who died saving others

LCpl Joe Paul, one of two Medal of Honor recipients being inducted this year by the Ohio Military Hall of Fame, but officials haven't been able to locate any of his friends or family. (WSYX/WTTE)

Every year, the Ohio Military Hall of Fame honors Ohio men and women who have been awarded a Medal for Valor in combat.

It's a ceremony typically attended by hundreds.

Usually, the volunteers find friends and family of every honoree to be there, but this year, they are in the middle of a desperate search.

"We are hoping that through your help, we will be able to find somebody that can come to the ceremony and be able to receive the award for him and he is not completely lost in history," said Walter Reiner with the Ohio Military Hall of Fame.

The group is referring to LCpl Joe Paul, one of two Medal of Honor recipients being inducted this year.

"He was in a battle, one of the first big battles of Vietnam, and it was a very intense battle. His unit was pinned down," said Reiner.

Joe was a teenager when he sacrificed his life.

"These people were wounded," said Reiner. "They were lying there and so he took action and diverted the enemy and fought to the end and was incapacitated, while these other five people were evacuated and got out of there."

The 19-year-old took on the enemy, saving five people, before dying the next day. Reiner said this happened in 1965.

Reiner and Ted Mosure, the President of the Hall of Fame, said Paul was born in Kentucky and moved to Dayton, Ohio where he attended school before enlisting in the Marines.

Reiner showed ABC 6/FOX 28 a photo of Paul's mother being presented his Medal of Honor following his death. Reiner and Mosure showed records that indicated the marine had siblings living in Dayton named James Edward and Laura Rogers .

The volunteer group has been putting all their resources into finding anyone who knew the hero and can attend the ceremony to accept his award.

"He is so young so he didn't get a chance to get married, have children, grandchildren what have you," said Mosure. "So, it is now like what has become a fairly common saying, we want to do something to honor his sacrifice."

The Hall of Fame induction is May 4th from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Atrium at the Statehouse.

If you know any friends or family, or anyone who served alongside LCpl Paul that would like to be there, contact Haley Nelson via email.

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