Prominent local attorney Mathew B. Tully of Hunter, who was serving in Iraq with the 42nd Infantry Division from Troy, was welcomed home last week by Vice President Richard Cheney and his wife Lynne.
The 42nd Infantry Division, comprised of about 25,000 soldiers; was headquartered in Tikrit, Iraq, the hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein. It was responsible for providing security and conducting stability operations in a large part of the infamous “Sunni Triangle” The Vice President thanked Tully and his fellow soldiers for their unbridled service and dedication to the Country especially during this holiday season. Tully, who served as the acting Division Chief of Operations; and other soldiers returning from Iraq were asked to speak privately with the Vice President about the current situation in Iraq.
Tully said, “It was an esteemed honor to speak with the vice president of the United States of America. It was heartening to know that he was concerned about us while we were serving in Iraq and that he understands the sacrifices we all have made. Having him and his wife meet us at the Fort Drum Airport meant a lot.”
Vice President Cheney told Tully and the other combat veterans present, “I want to thank you for a job well done and to say on behalf of all Americans, welcome home, Each one of you is helping to write a proud chapter in the history of freedom. You’ve met every challenge with focus and courage, and with great effectiveness, and above all, with honor.”
Cheney went on to highlight the accomplishments of the 42nd lnfantry Division as the first Army National Guard division headquarters to deploy to combat since the Korean War. While stationed in Iraq the members of the 42nd conducted thousands of raids and search. missions, tracked and ‘detained’ terrorists, helped train Iraqi forces and provided security.
Cheney concluded his speech with the inspirational word, “Never Forget, Climb to Glory.”
Tully, while happy to be back in the United States, said that his thoughts and prayers are with his friends and colleagues still in Iraq. Mathew Tully is expected to return to his position as a partner in the prestigious Catskill law firm of Tully Rinckey PLLC in early 2006.