He’s a three time purple heart recipient. He still has a bullet lodged in his back. He is suffering from stage four liver cancer.
But Fred Tully doesn't care, and tomorrow he get his moment to shine in front of folks in Folsom as the Grand Marshall of the city’s Veterans Day Parade.
Tully, 87, spent 21 years in the Marine Corps and served in both the Korea and Vietnam wars.
During those wars, he was shot three separate times. The first time, in Korea, they shot him twice.
“I got shot twice in the back during one operation,” Tully said. “[The doctors] took the one bullet out, they tried to get the other, they couldn't, so I have a bullet in my back right now. But it didn’t bother me, didn’t bother me at all.”
And those instances weren’t the only times Tully escaped death.
In January of 1967, while stationed in Vietnam, his mother passed away. While home in Sacramento for her funeral, his entire outfit was wiped out.
“My mother saved my life,” he says flatly. “I tell you, she could walk on water as far as I’m concerned.”
Tully explains that throughout his years serving, he saw a lot of combat and lost many friends, but he says, “that’s my job, I have no regrets.”
No regrets – even though it’s what ultimately caused his illness.
Tully has stage 4 liver cancer, which he says he got from his exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. He gets chemo treatments every month. Even so, he remains remarkably upbeat.
“They tell me I have stage 4 cancer, but I feel good,” he said.
Tully even has a “bucket-list” of things he wants to do. Top on his list -- riding an 18-wheeler truck – he accomplished earlier this year.
He also has an affinity for dancing. At the Folsom Marine Corps Ball, where ABC10 met up with him, he was seen on the dance floor rocking out to Carlos Santana.
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