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“Those of us that have the most severe PTSD…are the ones who care, the ones who are compassionate.” (video interview, 1:35:07)

   William Maxwell Barner, III
Image of William Maxwell Barner, III
William Barner in uniform, a lei around his neck, Hawaii [ca. 1968]
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army
Unit: 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
Service Location: Fort Polk, Louisiana; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; I Corps, Vietnam; III Corps, Vietnam
Rank: E-5
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When he arrived at basic training after being drafted into the Army, one of the first things William Maxwell Barner heard from his drill sergeants was, “you’re going to Vietnam and you’re going to die.” As he says, he “wasn't interested in either one of those.” Though he survived a year in Vietnam serving in a Howitzer Battery, he did not return home unharmed. Following his service, Barner was unable to control his anger and had difficulty keeping a job. Almost 40 years after his discharge, he was finally diagnosed with PTSD. Though he resisted at first, he eventually accepted the diagnosis and went on to help fellow veterans seek help from the VA.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (101 min.)
»Transcript
  Photos
»Photo Album  (13 photos)
 Personal Correspondence
»View List (70 items)
 Diaries
»Diary of William M. Barner, ca. 1966-'67
 Other Materials
»View List (19 items)
More like this
»PTSD: A Lasting Impact of War
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Shipping out to Vietnam; assignment to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment; training for new duties; friendly fire incident. (07:05) Reading his diary for the first time in 2009; letters home; thoughts on local people; disconnected from the human cost of war. (05:05) Nowhere to go when off duty; feeling guilty that he had better food and living conditions than other troops; accepting that his actions benefited others. (03:34)
Enemy used a rocket attack to identify their location; returning fire after fellow soldiers were injured; destroying a village. (03:37) Adjusting to life at home; returning to school; having trouble managing anger, keeping a job; beginning a career in real estate business and committing to helping people; seeking help at the VA; understanding PTSD. (19:06) 
  
 Personal Correspondence (70 items)
Letter written on back of greeting card to Sandy Barner [10/30/1965] Correspondence written inside greeting card to Sandy Barner [4/9/1967] Letter to Sandy Barner from William M. Barner III [8/18/1967]
Postcard to Sandy Barner from William M. Barner III [8/15/1967] Postcard to Sandy Barner from William M. Barner III [8/15/1967] Postcard to Sandy Barner from William M. Barner III [8/19/1967]
Letter to Sandy Barner from William M. Barner III [8/21/1967] Letter to Sandy Barner from William M. Barner III [8/21/1967] Greeting card and letter to Sandy Barner from William M. Barner III [8/27/1967]
Letter from Mrs. Carroll Reed to William M. Barner III [10/2/1967] Correspondence written inside greeting card to William M. Barner III from Sandy Barner [10/4/1967] Homemade greeting card with poem to Sandy Barner [10/9/1967]
Homemade greeting card with poem to Sandy Barner [11/9/1967] Correspondence written inside greeting card to William M. Barner III to Sandy Barner [11/4/1968] Correspondence in a greeting card from Sandy Barner to William M. Barner III [1/25/1968]
Homemade greeting card from William M. Barner III to Sandy Barner [1/1968] Correspondence in a greeting card from Sandy Barner to William M. Barner III [3/4/1968] Correspondence in a greeting card from William M. Barner III to Sandy Barner [3/4/1968]
Correspondence in a greeting card from Sandy Barner to William M. Barner III [3/17/1968] Correspondence in a greeting card from Sandy Barner to William M. Barner III [4/1/1968] Correspondence in a greeting card from Sandy Barner to William M. Barner III [4/1/1968]
Correspondence in a greeting card from William M. Barner III to Sandy Barner [4/9/1968] Correspondence in a greeting card from Sandy Barner to William M. Barner III [4/20/1968] Letter from William M. Barner III to the registrar at University of Texas-Arlington [6/1/1968]
Correspondence in a greeting card from Sandy Barner to William M. Barner III [6/4/1968] Letter from "The Westbrooks", Temple, Texas, to William M. Barner III [7/4/1968] Letter from "George" to William M. Barner III [11/26/1968]
Letter to William and Sandy Barner from "Carl" [11/27/1968] Correspondence in a greeting card from Sandy Barner to William M. Barner III [11/29/1967] Letter from "Carl" to William M. Barner III [12/11/1968]
Letter to "Carl" from the Barners [2/12/1969] Letter from "Carl" to the Barners [3/1/1969] Christmas Card from Edsel Candill to William M. Barner III [12/18/1970]
Letter from "the guys from Fox Delta Chuck" to the Barners [1/26/1970] Correspondence in a greeting card from Sandy Barner to William M. Barner III [2/17/1968] Letter to William M. Barner III from his wife, Sandy [n.d.]
Postcard depicting a World Airways jet, correspondence on the reverse [n.d.] Anniversary card from Sandy Barner to her husband, William [12/9/1967] Letter from William M. Barner III to his wife, Sandy [8/9/1970]
Correspondence in a greeting card from Sandy Barner to her husband, William [6/25] Greeting card with correspondence from William M. Barner to his wife, Sandy [n.d.] Christmas card from William M. Barner III to his wife, Sandy [12/1966]
Greeting card from William M. Barner III to his wife, Sandy [3/9/1968] Greeting card from Sandy Barner to her husband, William [5/5] Valentine's card from Sandy Barner to her husband, William [2/5/1968]
Letter to William M. Barner from his wife, Sandy, [8/3] Homemade Christmas Card, year unknown, from the Red Cross Halloween card, year unknown
Anniversary card from William M. Barner to his wife, Sandy [4/9/1968] Correspondence inside a Christmas Card from Sandy Barner to her husband, William [n.d.] Correspondence inside a greeting card from Sandy Barner to her husband, William [n.d.]
Correspondence inside a birthday card from Sandy Barner to her husband, William [n.d.] Birthday card from William Barner's grandparents [n.d.] Homemade greeting card from William Barner to his wife, Sandy [n.d.]
Postcard from William M. barner III to his wife, Sandy [n.d.] Postcard from William M. barner III to his wife, Sandy [n.d.] Postcard from William M. barner III to his wife, Sandy [n.d.]
Letter from Sandy Barner to William M. Barner III [5/21] Letter and swatch of fabric from Sandy Barner to William M. Barner III [8/20] Letter from Sandy Barner to William M. Barner III [8/22]
Letter from William M. Barner to his wife, Sandy [3/2] Postcard from William M. Barner to his wife, Sandy [n.d.] Christmas card from William M. Barner's grandparents [n.d.]
Anniversary card to his wife, Sandy, from William M. Barner III [n.d.] Christmas card to his wife, Sandy, from William M. Barner III [12/25/1965] Anniversary card to William M. Barner III from his wife, Sandy [2/9/1966]
Greeting card from William M. Barner III to his wife, Sandy [2/22/1966] Birthday card from William M. Barner III to his wife, Sandy [4/9/1967] Halloween card from Sandy Barner to her husband, William M. Barner III [10/11/1967]
Letter to "Dear Ones" [4/17/1968]  
  
 Other Materials (19 items)
Biographical information for William M. Barner, III B/w depiction of a military insignia, a rearing horse on a diagonally striped shield; writing on the reverse is in Vietnamese, pledging the return of "Regiment 11" to route the enemy Program of Commencement Exercises for the University of Texas-Arlington [1968]
Program for a Protestant Worship Service [6/9/1968] Program for a Protestant Worship Service [6/2/1968] Program for a Protestant Worship Service on Mother's Day [5/12/1968]
Blank postcard: Vietnam, Danang Blank postcard: San Bancho Hotel, Tokyo, Japan Blank postcard: Starlight Grill, Hotel New Grand, Yokohama, Japan
Blank postcard: Philippine Farm Scene Blank postcard: Davy Jones Locker beneath the Reef Hotel, Waikiki, Hawaii Brochure for the San Bancho Hotel, Tokyo, Japan
50 cent military payment certificate 5 cent military payment certificate A 20 dong bill, Vietnamese currency
Uniform patch of William M. Barner III Uniform patch of William M. Barner III Uniform patch of William M. Barner III
Dog tag of William M. Barner III  
  
 

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  October 26, 2011
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