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Near-death experience reaches millions as Sevier Co. veteran, daughter go viral on TikTok

Their lives weren’t always filled with laughs and giggles. Billy lost his leg and arm in that explosion during Desert Storm.
Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 6:53 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Sevier County Air Force veteran who nearly died in the middle east two decades ago is joining his daughter in newfound TikTok fame. Billy and MaKenzie Marshall have almost 3 million followers. Their goal is to inspire and entertain each viewer.

“Do you want to lay in bed and say, ‘woe is me?’ Or is there something you want to go do,” Billy said.

The fame is connecting them to big brands and someone important from Billy’s past.

“My long-lost grandfather comes into contact with us just from seeing our videos. It really has changed our lives,” MaKenzie said.

The father-daughter duo’s lives weren’t always filled with laughs and giggles. Billy lost his leg and arm in that explosion during Desert Storm.

“I was awake during the entire time. I ended up in a children’s hospital in Kuwait City. I didn’t have any pain medicine until a week later when I got to Germany,” Billy said.

He suffered even more last year when his mother, mother-in-law, and service dog all died within months.

“I remember crying and telling my mom everyday that I just want to get through the year because I felt like every something bad was going to happen,” said MaKenzie. “Here we are a year later and I feel like everything has a way of working out. I feel like and I really believe that now.”

McKenzie took a break from East Tennessee State University during the pandemic but plans to grow their “Girl with the Dad with the Dog” brand.

Billy will stay being Billy.

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