Dillon’s Frank Fowler publishes memoir of war experience

Casey S. Elliott
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Relative Humility

A Dillon man’s decades-old writings about wartime activities are now available in a new self-published memoir.

Eighty-eight-year-old Frank Fowler dusted off the old anecdotes during his time in the service after the Korean War, and compiled a memoir out of it. The new book, “Relative Humility – A Journal of Life in Peacetime Army During the Mid-Fifties” came out roughly a month ago.

“The book is about me trying to adjust to being suppressed, so to speak,” he said. “I had to laugh at it to maintain my sanity.”

Fowler chose not to seek publication sooner, fearing blow back from the tone of the book.

“It’s a little bit critical of the Army and of the service,” he said. “There were a lot of people during wartime that were killed in the outfit I served in. Since it seems like I’m making fun of them, it didn’t seem appropriate.”

Fowler had recently graduated with a degree in forestry from what is now the University of Montana in Missoula when he was drafted. He completed basic training with the 101st Airborne, and was sent overseas to serve in the public information office. His love of writing and exploration, and his expertise in forestry, blossomed during that assignment.

“The book is humorous, and written in a way you could almost start at anyplace in the book. It’s a group of stories about my experiences,” he said. “My friends and I did an awful lot of laughing and disruptive behavior.”

Fowler returned to Montana after his time in the service, later working for the U.S. Forest Service. He was a smoke jumper during college, and wrote “Highmountain Two-manner” in 2006 about that experience.

“I was always trying to find a job, to do something that would occupy my time in a positive way,” he said.

Fowler said he expects he will continue writing, though he’s not certain he will publish another book due to his age and ongoing health challenges.

“What’s next is whatever the pandemic will let me do,” he said. “I still write a little, but I don’t know if I’ll do anything with it.”

“Relative Humility” can be purchased from The Bookstore or online at www.xlibris.com.