Pfc. Dan Bullock was laid to rest in an unmarked grave in a back corner of Elmwood Cemetery after laying down his life in the Vietnam War when he was only 15.

For years, the grave had no headstone.

The teenager who forged his birth certificate to fight for his country had received little recognition for his heroic acts -- until now.

Late Monday afternoon on Memorial Day, a group of veterans, elected officials and family members gathered in the 200 block of West Ash Street to witness the unveiling and dedication of a historical marker honoring Bullock for his service.

Tommy Jarrett, who was the main speaker at the event, said congressman G.K. Butterfield worked with the Pentagon to confirm that Bullock was the youngest man to die in the war.

It's official -- he was.

Bullock's grave was unmarked until talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael paid for a headstone in 2000.

This year, Bullock not only had the historical marker dedicated in his honor on Memorial Day, but a few weeks ago he also had the entrance to the cemetery where he lies named after him as "PFC Dan Bullock Way."

Bullock died June 7, 1969, in the Quang Nam province of Vietnam, after his position came under heavy enemy fire. Volunteering to run through the gunfire for ammunition, Bullock was shot down during his second run.

Monday's ceremony delivered the long-overdue recognition Bullock deserved for his sacrifice, completing a trio of markers that now insure his place in history.

Bullock's sister, Porter Bullock Barnes, attended Monday's ceremony.

She said she was only 23 years old when Bullock left home for Brooklyn to enlist in the Marine Corps.

"We didn't know he enlisted until he came to my house in his uniform while he was on leave before he went to Vietnam," Barnes said.

Barnes helped several people unveil the marker, pausing briefly to look back at the marker and smile with approval.

"I am so thankful. It took a long time for this to happen," Barnes said, wiping tears away with a tissue. "I'm just happy. I feel like that he feels someone in Goldsboro really cared about him. I know he's looking down smiling."