TOPEKA (KSNT) – Vietnam veteran Frank Lowery was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969.

“Didn’t leave much decision making to be done,” Lowery said.

After basic training in Missouri and Texas, he deployed to Vietnam during the summer of 1970.

“It was an experience in my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything, but it was also an experience in my life that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy,” Lowery said.

The next 10 months spent overseas alongside the Cambodian border will stick with him forever.

“I was assigned to the 31st Combat Engineer Battalion,” Lowery said.

Frank started as a vehicle mechanic and was reassigned as a Mine Sweep Specialist.

“We worked on roads and basically infrastructure for the area,” Lowery said.

He detailed a scary attack that he’ll never forget.

“Our unit experienced some of the ugliness of war,” Lowery said. “In one instance, they tried to overrun us, and then we had to repel ’em.”

Frank still suffers from nightmares but is working to remember the good times, like creating a water purification system for a nearby village.

“The people were showing some progressively improved health conditions because of drinking more purified water, and it was really amazing,” Lowery said.

It was then he realized how a small effort can make a big impact.

“I think all the exposure that I received was purposeful in my life. So, may not necessarily have figured it out yet entirely, but I know some good things have come because of it,” Lowery said.

We’re highlighting veterans in our community every week just like Frank. If you’d like to nominate someone for our Veteran Salute Segment, please email with the subject line VETERAN SALUTE. Include the veteran’s name, military branch, rank, years of service, a short biography, and a number to contact them.