Retired MARINE SERGEANT BILL EBERSBACH 39 www.wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com WBM “I’m not a victim,” he says. “I’m proud of what I did. And if this is the consequence of it, then so be it. I’m not going to cry about it. And there are a lot of guys who are in a lot worse shape than I am.” Following Vietnam, Ebersbach served six more years, and then put his military training as an air traffic controller to use in the civilian sector, working for the Federal Aviation Administration for 30 years. He worked in four cities before moving to North Carolina with his wife, Karen. The couple has lived in Wilmington since 2004. Today, as Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Cape Fear Chapter 636, Ebersbach devotes himself to seeking assistance and recogni-tion for veterans, as do the other members of the order. He’s adamant that no other veteran experience the disrespect that many Vietnam veterans faced when they returned stateside after serving in an unpopular war heav-ily protested in the United States. “This country will never again treat a veteran — especially a combat veteran — the way they treated the Vietnam vet,” he says. “The guys and also some of the women who went over there, they were all treated in the same way, and that was with disdain and disgust.” He honors his military connection in his home, where he has a display case that con-tains his medals. Also on dis-play is the Purple Heart of his late father William Ebersbach, who served with the Marines in World War II; and a medal that belonged to his maternal grandfather, who received the equivalent of a Purple Heart, the Combat Wound Certificate, and a Silver Star for his Army service in World War I.
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