Oral History interview of William Ellis. Interview conducted by Ellis, Erik at Veteran's Home.
0:20 Born in Deland, Florida. Grew up in Crescent City FL; 0:40 Mother and Father both educators. One brother, in Army Reserves; 1:01 Enlisted in Army at 17, completed Split Option Program; 1:24 History of service in family; Grandfather, West Point Captain; 2:16 Basic Training and AIT, describes feelings about toughness of Basic; 3:56 Training is very dull, consists of class. Much like school; 4:40 Not difficult to become a soldier, nothing tying him down; 5:17 Training required to deploy overseas to Iraq; 6:26 Explained his actual movement overseas from one country to another; 7:17 Got to experience moving throughout Baghdad; 8:14 Encountered dangers during his times with the convoys; 9:10 Mind of being subjected to dangerous situations; 9:39 Held close camaraderie with his fellow soldiers; 11:22 Keeping in touch was difficult, writing letters was easy but email was not; 13:07 Living situations steadily improved during 2004-2005; 13:40 Days were filled with finding distractions, gym, movies, reading; 15:20 Generally worked a 12 hour day, from 6am to 6-7pm; 16:10 Coming home is complicated, paperwork, equipment, and flights; 17:31 Post war time adjustment wasn't terrible, had trouble with speeding; 18:31 Knew nearly nothing about Iraq before going over; 19:42 Had interactions with Local Nationals, "Hadji Shop" owners; 19:50 Reactions of LN's kind, respectful, hospitable. Trouble with lnsha AIIah; 20:56 Impressions of Iraq decimated infrastructure, waste disposal was appalling; 22:41 Conspiracy theories about why were in Iraq was unsettling; 24:02 Iraq is more developed compared to other Middle Eastern Countries; 24:48 Iraq is geographically diverse, there are both arid and fertile regions; 25:44 Iraqi's are respectful people, always shake your hand and offer cigarette; 27:59 Going to the bathroom in Iraq, its nothing more than a hole in the floor; 28:26 lnsha AIIah governs Iraqi's ideas of urgency, not used to it as an American; 29:38 Was more cynical and humorous after his deployment; 30:23 Glad to be a part of Iraq and a part of history, interesting experience; 31:00 Eye opening experience that remove "American Filter" of world view.
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
War or Conflict
Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan; Operation Iraqi Freedom
Begin/End date of Service - 1st
Entrance into Service
Branch of Service
Unit of Service
2nd Infantry Division, 3rd Infantry Division
Location of Service
Staff Sergeant; SSG
Prisoner of War
Service Related Injury
See the video
City of Birth
Country of Birth
Location of Interview
Ellis, William J.; Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present -- Personal Narratives; United States. Army
Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.
Contributor Affiliation / Organization
RICHES; University of Central Florida
Length of Interview
Department of History, University of Central Florida
MovingImage; Video; Sound; Audio
All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/
University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UCF Community Veterans History Project
Central Florida, RICHES of, "Ellis, William Jason interview" (2013). Veterans Oral Histories. 149.