by Julie Murphy
This feature originally appeared in the December 28, 2012 edition of the St. Louis Business Journal.
You might have seen William Wallace in the 1986 movie “The Delta Force,” when he played Sgt. Pete Peterson, alongside Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin – or three years later as Agent Number Two in Oliver Stone’s “Born on the Fourth of July.”
Those are just two of Wallace’s numerous acting credits.
These days, Bill Wallace, 52, is decidedly modest about his years as an actor in Hollywood. He’s more eager to discuss his current real-life role as the executive director of U.S.VETS – St. Louis. With 12 sites nationwide, the nonprofit organization offers supportive housing for U.S. veterans who might otherwise be homeless.
A veteran himself, Wallace served with NATO peacekeeping forces in Bosnia, from 1995 to 1996. (Wallace joined the Army Reserve when he was 31.) After returning from active duty, he appeared for several months on the television soap, “The Guiding Light.” “That was my swan song,” he said. Tired of looking for steady acting work, he ultimately returned to school – Antioch University – to pursue a master’s in clinical psychology, knowing that he wanted to work with veterans.
For nine years, Wallace served as the clinical director of U.S.VETS’ largest housing program, located in Long Beach, Calif. More recently, he had the opportunity to explore options for a new site in St. Louis; having grown up here, Wallace was eager to oblige…