U.S. Army 1968–1970
William Gallagher enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1965 and served in the Air Police at Otis Air Force Base and in West Germany and was discharged in 1968. He then volunteered for the Army and was sent to Vietnam, where he was assigned to the Civil Actions Office which was responsible for distributing donated goods to civilians. Fracturing his hand near the end of his tour, he went to the 106th General Hospital where he saw “the real wounded.” Gallagher provides graphic descriptions of his experiences in Vietnam, which has served as a source for his poetry. He reads two of his poems, “Self-Pity,” and “The Wall,” which he read at the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall when it was in Natick in June 2011.