War veteran, Downey High alum is guest speaker

DOWNEY – William Ward will be the guest speaker at the Downey Historical Society’s April 23 meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Barbara J. Riley Center. Ward graduated from Downey Union High School in 1956 after completing grammar school and North Junior High School.

He went away to the University of Arizona and graduated with a degree in government in 1960 before completing a teaching certification program.

The Downey Draft Board gave orders to report to the Los Angeles Induction Center in April 1962. He took a train from Union Station to Salinas, Calif. and Fort Ord Army Base. From basic training he went to Fort Harrison, Ind., to be trained in the Adjutant General’s Corps and from there was assigned to West Point, NY as the administrative assistant to the Chief of Personnel.

While there he volunteered for Vietnam. He was attached to HQ, Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) Vietnam. His experience included bombings, shootings and hospitalization from malaria.

In 1964, MAAG was abolished and he left active duty to serve in the U.S. Army Hospital Reserve unit located at the El Toro Marine Base.

His civilian duties included the Frito-Lay Co., Long Beach City Hall’s Purchasing Department, and the Long Beach Unified School District. He was a substitute teacher in the Downey, Anaheim and Huntington Beach school districts, as well as in Long Beach.

He is currently active in veterans affairs being commander of the VFW in Long Beach and the service officer for the Americaion Legion as well as the chairman of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee for the NAACP Long Beach.

He is active in the Artesia Historical Society, Downey Historical Society and the Seal Beach Historical Society.

 

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Published: April 9, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 52