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Resident Feature: Author Frank Linik Combines History & Fiction

Touchmark at Mount Bachelor Village resident Frank Linik was recently featured in the Central Oregon Daily News to offer his perspective on what Memorial Day means for veterans. In this post, we go deeper into Frank’s background and the impressive legacy he is building through his writing career.

About Frank

Frank Linik grew up in Trenton, New Jersey, and moved to Framingham, Massachusetts, in high school. He played high school sports and wanted to go to college, so he thought the service academies sounded interesting. He applied to Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. He graduated in 1967 and entered the army as an officer. His father was in the 28th Infantry Division in WWII and involved in fighting in Europe.

After entering the army, Frank completed the training cycle for 2nd lieutenants, then went on to attend paratrooper school and Army Ranger School. He was then assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 1968, he was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. He served as an infantry rifle platoon leader and assistant battalion personnel officer. He was awarded two Bronze Star Medals, an Army Commendation Medal, an Air Medal, and the Combat Infantry Badge.

After his year-long tour in Vietnam, he was sent to Germany at the largest troop concentration in Europe at the height of the Cold War. He was stationed at a post where soldiers could take their families, so they had schools—and teachers—on post, and this is where he met his wife Janet, a speech therapist.

After leaving the Army, he and Janet settled in Visalia, California, and lived there for 40 years. Frank is a retired educator. As an educator, he taught multiple grades, and halfway through his career, he developed a passion for the specialty of education technology. He recalls his time spent in the rural areas of the southern San Joaquin Valley of California where the small schools didn’t have specialized staff. His staff development role was to help bring technology into the classroom.

Through his love of fly fishing, Frank discovered Central Oregon. In February 2017, he and his wife relocated to Bend and then moved to Touchmark in 2022. Frank now divides his time between writing, fly fishing, photography, and cooking, not necessarily in that order.

Frank the Author

Frank has written two fiction books: A Matter of Semantics and a sequel, A Matter of Honor, published in 2018 and 2023 respectively.

A Matter of Semantics: A Young Officer’s Decision: Duty or Loyalty in the Vietnam War

No one ever died under Lieutenant Bill Brandt's command; however, he found himself fighting more than just the enemy. A young infantry rifle platoon leader must choose between career or integrity, allegiance or defiance, and ultimately between life or death. This story of historical and military fiction set in the Vietnam War answers the question, "What's it like to be in combat?"

A Matter of Honor: A Sniper, A Vice President, and A Fishing Guide: Escape and Evasion in Wilderness (The Bill Brandt Trilogy Book II)

Vice President Mark Connor plans a wilderness fishing trip while an anti-government conspiracy hires a sniper to assassinate him. His dream vacation quickly becomes a deadly game of escape, evasion, and relentless pursuit. His survival depends on fishing guide Bill Brandt's combat and leadership skills developed in the Vietnam War and the skills of strong female characters in the fishing party.

When asked about his inspiration, Frank said, “There was no inspiration, it was a catalyst instead.” He was the reading specialist in an elementary school in California, talking in the office of the principal one day, and a reporter who was interested in talking to “Captain Linik” called regarding a Memorial Day story. The reporter asked the principal, “Do you know any veterans that are not ‘Rambos’? At that point, Frank was interviewed, and the reporter contrasted him with a helicopter pilot in Vietnam who was very bitter. The reporter said that Frank’s experience in Vietnam led him to a lifelong journey of self-discovery. He wrote on 5x7 cards after that interview as the first step to writing his book, but because he was still working, it took 30 years to complete.

Frank says, “A lot of people don’t talk about the war; it’s hard to communicate what it’s really like at war.” He wanted to say more than his personal experience and be able to put the reader in the head of an infantry rifle platoon leader, so it was a deep third-person perspective.

With the success of his first book, Frank says people asked, “What happens next to this guy in the book?” That question prompted the sequel. Then his readers told him the main character’s story needed to be a trilogy. So, he’s currently working on the plot structure of a third book.

Lifelong Lessons

Frank always says, “Know where you are going.” He learned that in the army, and it also serves him well in writing books. His skills of using a map and compass always come in handy. He says, “A map and compass can help me … I’ll be just fine: I can get lost anywhere in the world.”

His writing lessons are many but several he references often include:

  • “If the noun is good and the verb is strong, you almost don’t need an adjective.”  — J. Anthony Lukas

  • Mark Twain said, “If you catch an adjective, kill it.”

  • Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm, wrote a chapter about what it was like to drown. He only used one adjective: dark.

What Memorial Day Means to Veterans

When asked what it means to Frank, he replied, “On Memorial Day, they play ‘Taps’—I don’t hear musical notes, I see faces.”

Thank you, Frank, for your incredible service as well as sharing your story and the lessons you’ve learned along the way. We appreciate your ongoing contributions to our community!