Reagan County's Fallen Hero Remembered On 2-Year Anniversary Of His Sacrifice

Reagan County's Fallen Hero Remembered On 2-Year Anniversary Of His Sacrifice

Anum Valliani

NewsWest 9

REAGAN COUNTY - Deputy Josh Mitchell was a happy guy with a crooked smile who could make you laugh. And according to his Mother-in-Law, Linda Matthews. "he had a servant's heart."

But August 1st, 2012, he lost his life doing what he loved. Mitchell was shot and killed in the line of duty that hot summer day.

"It seems like just yesterday to me that we got the call, and I will never forget where I was or who I was with," Matthews said.

"It's kind of a date you don't want to relive again, but doing stuff like this it makes it better," Deputy Troy Goodloe added. Goodloe, who had worked with Mitchell until then, is talking about how the community came together to honor and remember their fallen hero.

The memorial was held at "Josh's park," which was put up by the Josh Mitchell Remembrance Association after his death. People of all ages came out, many sporting t-shirts or other memorabilia for Josh. The crowd may have been somewhat thin, but that didn't matter.

"It wasn't even about the people. I looked around and saw so many of our sweet friends, so many of our people who were by our sides from the first minutes. So for everyone that was here, we're very appreciative of that, but if the whole park was full, it couldn't have been any more special," Matthews said.

There were prayers, a special song for him, and a butterfly release.

"To me the butterfly just resembles something. It flies away and its gone and you don't get it back, and that's kind of how we feel about Josh," Matthews said.

Those who came out say this anniversary has been bittersweet, especially due to the out pour of love shown across social media and in person.

"Our hearts are overwhelmed with blessings and memories of him and what people share with us and what we have to share," Matthews said.

Mitchell's wife Jill planned and organized the event with the help of many others. "The heaven was needing a hero [song], I think that just sums it up. We don't understand why he's gone, but God had a reason. And we'll be together again one day," she said.

Now family and friends are just gearing up for a 5K and an 18 point 5 mile trek that will be held in Mitchell's honor Saturday morning. A first-responders banquet will also be held in Reagan County on August 9th.