Bill Brown


William A. Brown is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He was born in Upland, California on November 20, 1944. He was drafted and served from September 1966 to September 1968 in the Army. Brown’s highest rank was E-4 and he was stationed in Arlington, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Units he was part of include the 3rd Infantry, Caisson Platoon, 1st Battalion and Headquarter Company. One of Brown’s main duties was responding to threats to the Pentagon and Washington, D.C. He was awarded an Expert Machine Gun Medal for his service. He was also awarded the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Brown’s other duty was caring for horses that were used for ceremonial burials at Arlington National Cemetery and in military processions. He also worked with horses that pulled past presidents and generals in ceremonies.


Audio Recording of Interview:

Minute Markers and Topics of Audio Recording of Interview

0:20                 Family

1:20                 Attended college before entering the service

1:30                 How drafted

3:30                 Basic training and adaptation to military life

12:30               Transferred to Washington, D.C. and Virginia

14:40               Worked with horses and pulled caissons

20:50               Infantry duty

26:40               Friendships formed

29:10               Bonding with and uses of horses

31:20               Civil War origins of the caisson

33:40               Memories with friends and experiences with horses

01:07:40           No immediate appreciation of Vietnam troops

01:11:10           Coming home after service ended and community reception

01:14:30           Readapting to civilian life, going back to college

01:16:30           Communication with veterans, membership in veteran organizations and veteran publication

01:19:50           Emotions of performing in military funerals

01:23:10           Life lessons from service about patriotism

01:27:30           Advice for potential soldiers


Some highlights of Brown’s career are noted in this DD-214 form. It attests that he was honorably discharged on February 19, 1968, and that during his service he received a National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal.


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