Colonel Buckley served with the 1st Cavalry Division as a company commander during the Korean War. In 1960, Bill joined the 320th Special Forces Detachment which became the 11th Special Forces Group and attended both Basic Airborne and the Special Forces Officers Course.
Colonel Buckley served in Vietnam with MACV as a Senior Advisor to the ARVN. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in May 1969.
Buckley was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1955 to 1957 and again from 1965 until his untimely death. He was taken hostage from his last assignment in Beirut; Lebanon where he was the Political Officer/ Station Chief at the U.S. Embassy. Colonel Buckley died after 15 months in captivity of illness and torture. His body was returned to the United States on December 28, 1991 and he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.