EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – From combat in Vietnam to senior living in Edmond, two local veterans have formed a bond as their paths crossed a third time.
“We can talk back and forth and we understand each other,” said Jim Null.
At the bar at Touchmark Senior Living in Edmond, you could say Air Force veterans Jim Null and Bill Talley are each other’s wingman of sorts.
49 year ago in Vietnam, Null heard the call when Talley’s aircraft was hit and went down.
“Crashed through some treetops, landed on a rock,” Talley said.
He was soon taken as a prisoner of war.
“On my first tour, I said I was going to be like John Wayne. I wasn’t going to be captured. I’d go out shooting but I thought this isn’t a good idea,” said Talley.
After months of torture in the Hanoi Hilton, Talley was finally able to come home after the Christmas Day bombing.
The decorated veteran was speaking at the Oklahoma Veteran’s Hall of Fame years later when his speech triggered a memory for Null.
“I said, ‘I know who that was because I remember ‘Icebag 4,'” Null recalled.
Null introduced himself at the time, but years passed.
Just a few weeks ago, they met again at Touchmark when Null moved in.
“The coincidence of someone flying on the same day that I was shot down and both of us ending up here in Touchmark, I don’t know what the odds of that are,” said Talley.
But the coincidences don’t end there.
A bracelet in the same building ties two women to this story.
“I thought, that name sounds familiar because I hadn’t heard it in 50 years,” Poppy Hock said.
Hock and her pal, Ellie Lottinville, heard Tally’s name in the halls, which was the same name on a bracelet from 50 years ago.
“Sure enough, we had both had the bracelets and wore them during that Vietnam era,” Lottinville said. “It was just amazing.”
All these years later, American heroes and those who supported them from miles away are united under one roof.
This Saturday, Talley will be the grand marshal at Edmond’s Liberty Fest Parade.
Null says he will be driving him.