Bud Shepard was born in 1948 in Talmadge, Ohio. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on April 8, 1968, completed basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in June 1968, and then attended Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, from June to August 1968. His first assignment was as an Armor Crewman with D Troop of the 10th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Knox from September to December 1968, followed by service as an Armor Crewman with Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion of the 37th Armor Regiment at Fort Knox from December 1968 to June 1969. Sgt Shepard served as a Scout Observer aboard OH-6A Cayuse helicopters with B Troop, 7th Armored Squadron of the 17th Air Cavalry in South Vietnam from August 1969 until the helicopter he was aboard was shot down over South Vietnam and he was taken as a Prisoner of War on November 2, 1969. After 39 days in captivity, Sgt Shepard was released by his captors on December 10, 1969, and then he was treated for his injuries at the Army Hospital at Fort Knox from December 1969 to March 1970. His final assignment was as a Team Leader with the 5th Battalion of the 33rd Armor Regiment at Fort Knox from March 1970 until he left active duty on April 7, 1971. Sgt Shepard received an honorable discharge from the Army Reserve on April 1, 1974.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For gallantry in action in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force: Sergeant Shepard distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions while serving as observer in a light observation helicopter near Duc Lap. When his helicopter was downed by enemy fire, Sergeant Shepard, although wounded, immediately marked the enemy location with white phosphorous grenades for helicopter gunships. He then provided suppressive fire while the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing. As the helicopter landed it was again taken under intense automatic weapons fire, wounding Sergeant Shepard a second time. Despite his wounds, he returned machine gun fire on the enemy positions, stopping several enemy advances toward the crash sites of three helicopters downed just minutes earlier. Through his courage and determination he provided the necessary suppressive fire for the downed aviators who were attempting to reach cover. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.