Howard was born in Ada, Oklahoma. His father served in the military so the family moved around a lot during Howard's childhood. By the time Howard was a senior in high school, his father had become professor of Military Science and Tactics for the ROTC program at West Texas University so Howard graduated from high school in Abilene, Texas. This is where he met his wife, Ruth. They married in September, 1957. Howard attended the University of Oklahoma and worked as a student engineer for a company in Dallas, and eventually joined the U.S. Army. After two years of active training, he joined the Texas National Guard, was transferred to the Oklahoma National Guard, and then joined the Army. Howard spent a few years at Flort Bliss, Texas, and in 1962 was assigned to Alaska and was stationed at Site Summit (B Battery B/4/43), the Nike Missile Site near Anchorage. He served as the platoon leader. Howard's wife, Ruth, and their children lived with him in Anchorage. They left Alaska in 1964, and Howard continued his military career in a target acquisition battalion, being stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco, California and serving in Vietnam and Korea. Howard continued to be involved with weapons systems and eventually retired from the military. He and Ruth had two children and they now live in Indiana.