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Utah Army veteran spreads hopeful message through 1st novel

By Gabrielle Shiozawa

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    HYRUM, Cache County (KSL) — An Army veteran from Cache County is publishing his first novel on July 4 with the intention of sharing important messages about resilience and community.

“Arch Recruit” by T. C. Lowrey is the first in a trilogy telling the war stories of a fictional Army captain named Orion Thorrsen. But the 229-page book holds a lot of truth: All of Thorrsen’s childhood experiences are based on Lowrey’s upbringing, and the war stories are a combination of Lowrey’s experiences and those of the people he served with.

“I’m personally tied to this book,” Lowrey said. “People are going to see an inside part of my life and it makes me vulnerable, but that’s what I wanted. I wanted to show people that no matter how low you get, you can survive, and you can win in life.”

Lowrey grew up in Logan and Providence, Cache County. He’d always wanted to help people, he said, which is why he got involved in health care. He completed basic training, went through nursing school and served as an Army nurse in Germany and Iraq. He was honorably discharged in 2011 and now lives in Hyrum, Cache County.

Of his time in the Army, Lowrey said, “It was a calling in my life, is what I felt, and I’m glad I got to do it. I loved serving my country.”

“Arch Recruit” comes out on Independence Day, a date that is significant to Lowrey as a strong patriot.

“I have an absolute love for the freedom that we have in this country,” Lowrey said.

Lowrey looks back fondly on his experiences in the Army, particularly the camaraderie and sense of brotherhood he had with his fellow soldiers. That’s largely where his motto, “One team, one fight,” comes from.

That’s also one of the main messages Lowrey hopes readers internalize after reading “Arch Recruit” — the importance of community, connection and working together.

“We’re all on the same team,” Lowrey said. “We have to help each other, as a society, get through everything. One team, one fight; you’re never alone.”

Lowrey had an uncle who served in Vietnam and was a great mentor to him. But after his uncle returned home with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, he ended up dying by suicide.

“That traumatized me,” Lowrey said. “We’ve all thought that we just can’t go on, it doesn’t get any better. It does. I promise you, life gets better.”

That message of resilience and hope is a large part of what Lowrey hopes readers gain from reading “Arch Recruit.” He described it as the story of how someone can go through horrible struggles and eventually realize that everything they went through was preparing them for something greater.

“Everything has a timeline and a plan,” Lowrey said. “It’s a story that needs to be told.”

By reading about his main character going through difficult experiences, Lowrey hopes readers will also learn just how resilient people can be and how they can survive even after the unthinkable happens.

“No matter how hard life gets, no matter what you go through, you can make it,” Lowrey said. “There’s some people that go through a lot worse than what I did, but what I went through was not easy. If I can make it, you can make it.”

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