Bill Laurie was born and raised in Waukegon, Illinois. He attended Arizona State University where he graduated in 1968 with a BA in Political Science. (He would later earn a second BA in Economics.) After graduation he volunteered for the Army. He trained at the Infantry Officer Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, Combat Tactical Intelligence and Southeast Asia Orientation at Fort Holabird, Maryland and Vietnamese Language School at Fort Bliss, Texas.
He was trained as an advisor, but by the time he arrived in Vietnam in late 1971, the advisory role was being phased out. He was assigned as an intelligence analyst in MACV J-2 from 1971 to 1972 when our troops were pulled out. Dissatisfied with leaving Vietnam, Laurie sought ways to return to Vietnam. In 1973 he returned with the Defense Attache Office and served as an advisor to US, RVNAF, Australian, USAID and CIA personnel covering 18 of the 44 provinces of South Vietnam.
He holds a teaching certificate for secondary schools, University of Phoenix. Bill is fluent both in spoken and written Vietnamese.