I was born in August of 1947 in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1951 I was adopted and my name was changed from William Lloyd Walters to William Dean Ellis. My school years were spent in Kentucky, Nevada, Utah, Germany, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and New Jersey because my adoptive father was a career military man. In 1965 my working career started in Pittsfield, Massachusetts as a "soda jerk". I also worked as an architectural and electrical draftsman in that same city until I entered the military in 1966. After completing basic training at Fort Dix, N.J. I received training in advanced infantry at Fort Ord, then moved on to jump school at Fort Benning, Georgia.
I took part in the protection of Detroit during the riots of 1967 as a member of the 2/505th 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In September of '67 my ticket came up for Viet Nam. After I completed Recondo school in Nha Trang, Vietnam, I became part of a Long Range Patrol unit consisting of 19 operational 6-man recon teams. It was