Sergeant William E. Wright, U.S. Army, was born 20 November 1947 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. On 24 July 1967, at age 19, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 1st Training Brigade, Basic Training, Fort Polk, Louisiana. On 30 September 1967 he was assigned to Company A, 4th Battalion, 3rd Training Brigade, Advanced Infantry Training, Fort Polk, Louisiana. Three months later on 20 December 1967, he was ordered to South Vietnam where he joined Company E, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, and was assigned as a rifleman and radio telephone operator in the Reconnaissance Platoon. On 12 May 1968, then a Specialist Fourth Class, he and seven other soldiers were manning an observation post when they came under a mortar and ground attack by an undetermined size North Vietnam Army force. As the result of his heroic action during the fight he was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for wounds suffered during the action.
SGT Wright's other awards and decorations include the Combat Infantry Badge, two Overseas Bars, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60- Device.