National Guard Lt. Col. Mathew Tully was awarded the Purple Heart after surviving a suicide bomber attack on his unit serving in Afghanistan.
Tully, co-founder of the Tully Rinckey law firm, sustained injuries on Tuesday, Aug. 7, when a suicide bomber attacked his unit using a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device near the Village of Pul-I-Alam in Logar Province, Afghanistan. Tully is still recovering from wounds. No U.S. service members were killed in the attack.
Purple Heart history
General George Washington established the Purple Heart in August 1782 in Newburgh. It is a military decoration awarded to those who have been wounded or killed while serving. It is the oldest military decoration still awarded.
Between Dec. 5, 2001, and June 30, 2012, almost 7,300 service members involved in the war in Afghanistan, known as “Operation Enduring Freedom,” were awarded the Purple Heart, according to the U.S. Army Human Resources Command.
Tully and Greg Rinckey founded Tully Rinckey, PLLC, in 2003. Tully is on military leave of absence from the law firm and he serves as a combat arms officer.
Tully is expected to return to his leadership role at the law firm in the spring of 2013, according to firm representatives.
“Matt has made many sacrifices in his long service to our country, and I’m proud to run a business with him,” Managing Partner Greg T. Rinckey said in a statement. “We are hoping for his speedy recovery as I’m sure he’s eager to get back to fighting beside our troops in the field.”
Tully also received his Combat Action Badge last May after hostile forces armed with AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenades attacked his unit serving in Iraq.
“I have stood eye-to-eye with communists and terrorists and it is all because of military experience,” he told The Spotlight before his ongoing deployment.
Tully previously said coming back home also isn’t the easiest.