MATTAWAN, MI, USA
SPC, TROOP B, 1ST SQUADRON, 8TH CAVALRY, 2 BCT, FORT HOOD, TX
BAGHDAD, IRAQ 03/15/2007
21 year-old SPC James Arnold of Mattawan, Mich.; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died March 15, 2007 in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit during combat operations.
Growing up with four sisters, James L. Arnold often laughed that he had four extra moms.
Our favorite game to play with Jimmy growing up was, ‘Jimmy, who is your favorite sister?’ said Michelle Smith, one of the sisters. He just picked whoever had been the nicest to him in the last five minutes.
Arnold, who was 6-foot-4, was an avid paintball and hockey fan, a sport he played as a youngster and in high school. He was very laid back and easygoing, Smith said. He didn’t have to say, ‘Hey, I’m here.’ You just knew he was there.
“He was one of the best all-around people that I had in my experience coaching,” Pete Gildea, who coached Arnold for about two years, told the Kalamazoo Gazette. “He was just a good kid to be around. He had a great sense of humor.
“He was a very honest, hardworking kid.”
Dave Agnew, who also coached him, said Arnold remained interested in his former team.
Even after Arnold had graduated, Agnew said, “He was always coming up and shaking my hand. He wanted to see how the team was doing. He was interested in the success of the program.”
He also is survived by his parents, Phillip and Mary.