(WHTM) — Col. Tom Faley loved to talk about his time in the service.

Especially the time in Vietnam when he literally took one in the money. An enemy bullet lodged in his wallet instead of in him.

“I felt a whack on my tail,” Faley said. “Neatly embedded in it was a .30 caliber bullet.”


It’s an incredible story that landed him in Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

“It would have been an embarrassing Purple Heart,” Faley said smiling.

Faley’s wallet with the bullet still embedded.

Faley passed away this week at the age of 82 after a lifetime of service. A graduate of William Penn High School, West Point, and later the U.S. Army War College, his military career spanned three decades from Vietnam to the Pentagon.

A decorated serviceman, he was a constant presence at any event honoring local veterans.

“I carry vivid memories of them and their sacrifices every day…I think of them constantly,” he told a crowd in 2014.

When others would have retired, Faley continued to serve. He was a professor at Harrisburg Area Community College and Duquesne’s Harrisburg campus. He joined the South Middleton Township Board of Supervisors in 1995 and served in the position for 24 years, becoming the face of his community.


You can read more about Faley’s life and access funeral details here.

Though he spent the past few years in Florida, the Midstate was his home. His final story is an unmatched legacy of service to country and community.