OTF Soldier Story for November 10, 2008 - Master Sgt. William “Bud” McLeroy
Current Unit: 4th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 100th Division, 80th Training Command
Current Position: Course Leader
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: San Diego, Calif.
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Years of Service: 27
In 1993, Master Sgt. William "Bud" McLeroy lost his left leg in a racing accident when he stepped out of his car and was hit by another driver on the course. Though the injury was serious, Master Sgt. McLeroy didn't let the loss of his leg become a roadblock. Ten years later, he became the first amputee in the Army to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
It was during this tour of duty in Iraq in 2003 that Master Sgt. McLeroy, then with the 315th Psychological Operations Company, faced another injury. Approximately six months into the deployment, gunfire erupted outside the compound where he was staying. He and fellow Soldiers took action and it was while he was helping carry wounded civilians to safety that Master Sgt. McLeroy sustained serious injury to his abdomen and back. He was medically evacuated to Germany and then ultimately to Fort Bragg, where he spent several months in recovery.
In March of 2004, Master Sgt. McLeroy transitioned from Active Duty to the Army Reserve, where he currently serves as a course leader for the 80th Training Command. After 27 years of combined service in the Marine Corps and the Army, he continues to challenge himself both in and out of uniform. He skydives on a regular basis and for the past few years has commemorated the loss of his leg by competing in an annual triathlon. And, he is a federal fireman — one of few amputees to claim this honor.
Master Sgt. McLeroy is a San Diego, Calif. native and currently lives there with his wife of 22 years, Tina. He says he is motivated to accomplish his goals because he wants to make his wife and their four children proud. Master Sgt. McLeroy says his youngest son is now contemplating a military career, following in the footsteps of multiple generations of their family.