Even after he left Vietnam, Frank Smart had to continue writing about the experiences of people who fought there.
The Sonora resident and Vietnam veteran has been writing about the times of combat soldiers and war veterans since he was in foxholes from 1968 to 1969.
“Veterans are a unique group because of their experiences,” Smart said this week.
Smart, 74, has a long list of ties to local veterans groups and events.
He helped found Chapter 391 of Vietnam Veterans of America in Tuolumne County and was involved in an effort that kept the use of the local Veterans Hall in the hands of veterans. He helped establish war memorials at the Tuolumne County Library and in downtown Sonora and regularly speaks and writes about military and veterans’ issues at events and in local publications. He penned a novel last year about a soldier’s experience in Iraq.
Smart also helped start Habitat for Humanity’s Tuolumne County chapter and volunteers with the 49er Rotary in Sonora.
Many people know him from his years working at Walmart, and he can regularly be seen chatting with friends — military or not — at the Sonora Perko’s.
But 50 years after being drafted, and about the same amount of time after the war began to escalate, he uses his work as an author, advocate, humanitarian and storyteller, making sure
those who served continue to have a voice.
For the complete story, see the May 15, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.