Fiala originally worked at the Nash auto plant in Kenosha. After his co-workers fabricated a story that he was about to unionize the work force, Fiala was fired from the plant.
Art Fiala served in World War I as member of the 20th Engineering Battalion, and was stationed in France (March - June 1918). While stationed in the French Alps, the soldiers of Fiala's battalion had little more than their uniforms and blankets to keep them warm - a shipment of warm clothes had caught fire and burnt during the transfer across the Atlantic Ocean.
During his work of cutting logs for the trenches Fiala was injured. This occurred when the team of horses he was driving went over an embankment. He became a cook after the injuries.
In 1999, Fiala received the French Legion of Honor.
In the final years of his long life Fiala resided in a Wisconsin nursing home, still taking part in several parades a year.
- Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary's Message Page Archived October 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.