FALLS CREEK, PA, USA U.S. Army SFC, COMPANY C, 2D BATTALION, 1ST SPECIAL FORCES GROUP, FORT LEWIS, WA BAGHDAD, IRAQ 08/23/2007
Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Tully, 33, a Special Forces medic assigned to the Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Fort Lewis, Wash., died August 23, 2007 from fatal wounds sustained when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device near Al Aziziyah, southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. Tully, from Falls Creek, Pennsylvania was assigned to Fort Lewis.
Tully’s father, John Tully, said he treasures a recent snapshot of his son comforting a young Iraqi girl, who was burned. “You could see his hand reaching for her to say, ‘Honey, don’t be afraid,'” John Tully said.
A 1992 high school graduate, Tully joined the Marines straight out of high school and became an underwater reconnaissance diver. After his discharge, he decided he wanted another challenge, his father said, so Tully enlisted in the Army and became a Green Beret. He was a Special Forces Medical Sergeant.
Michael Tully loved his assignment as a medic, his father said. He was very interested in taking care of people. People tend to think that soldiers are only there to kill or maim, but Michael was there to help other people, to help other soldiers.
He also is survived by his wife, Heather of Columbus, Ga., and his son, Slade of North Port, Fla. He is also survived by his father and stepmother, Jack and Marilyn Tully of Falls Creek, Pa.; his mother Dolores Newman of Glendale, Ariz.; his brother John Tully of Anchorage, Alaska (currently serving in Iraq); and his sister Heather A. Farkas of Northampton, Pa..
Mike called every week and he never missed a birthday or Christmas, said Michelle Basilotte, Tully’s former wife and Slade’s mother.
Tully’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal Second Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal Second Award, National Defense Service Medal Second Award, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Korean Defense Service Medal.