While living in Ozone Park, Queens, many of Frank Fontana’s friends enlisted in the US Army, so Frank followed suit. He was flown to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for training. Frank was a Sergeant, however one of his house boys fired Frank’s weapon unbeknownst to him and because of this incident Frank was demoted back to Private. He eventually worked his way back up the ranks to Corporal. Frank served in the Korean War – he remembers being stationed in Pusan and then traveling up North. He was in the chemical mortar battalion. Frank remembers seeing combat, sadly there were many fatalities in his unit, and at one point a mortar blew up right in front of him, throwing his body back. He was injured and sent to a hospital in Japan. He says he is lucky to be alive now! Frank received a purple heart award due to this incident.
When Frank returned after the war, he was discharged honorably. At this point he went back to school at Queens College and NYU for landscaping architecture. Frank states that the lifestyle of being in the Army and in war was not for him, and he was glad to come home and pursue school, a career, and his life. Frank went on to get married and had 1 son. Frank is now living his life to the fullest at The Arbors at Islandia East. He keeps himself busy with recreation activities, including Veterans Voices program with the local school children.