On July 18th 2008, a Canadian soldier was killed just before midnight Kandahar time. The soldier was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device while on a foot patrol in Panjwayi District.
The fallen soldier is Corporal James (Jim) Hayward Arnal of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, based in Shilo, Manitoba.
First aid was administered to Corporal Arnal immediately following the incident. He was evacuated by helicopter to Kandahar Air Field's Role 3 Multi-National Medical Facility, but sadly was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Military Families and members of Task Force Kandahar here and overseas are thinking of the family and friends of our fallen comrade during this time of sorrow and extend our prayers to families and friends both here and overseas. The dedication and sacrifice of soldiers like Corporal Arnal are helping to make a difference in the lives of countless Afghan citizens.
May He hold you in the palm of his hands and comfort your family and friends as you travel your final journey home. ~m.m.
Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Death of Corporal James (Jim) Hayward Arnal
The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, issued the following statement today on the death of a Canadian soldier:"On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Corporal James (Jim) Hayward Arnal who died yesterday (July 18, 2008) in Afghanistan. I also wish a quick recovery to the other soldier injured in this incident.
Just before midnight, on July 18, 2008, an improvised explosive device detonated near their foot patrol in Panjwayi District.The United Nations-mandated mission in Afghanistan is a challenging one, but these challenges will not deter us from helping Afghans reclaim their lives and build a free and democratic society.Corporal Arnal was a brave soldier. Canada will remain forever grateful for his service, and we are saddened by his loss."Corporal Arnal was an infanteer serving with the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group based in Shilo, Manitoba.
From the Family:
Family members of Cpl. James Arnal released a statement yesterday remembering their loved one as "fearless" and conveying their grief over his death in Afghanistan.
"We don't have words to express the sorrow all Jim's family and friends are feeling," wrote the family. "A part of us has died with him and he will always be in our thoughts and our hearts."
Arnal's family said the young soldier lived his life fully and as fearlessly as he executed his role in Afghanistan.
The statement described the Canadian Forces as giving Arnal the chance to travel and make friends across the globe.
"He was a thrill-seeker and was always on the go, recruiting his friends to go with him. He was always planning his next adventure," the statement read. "He was proud to be part of Canada's efforts to bring peace and stability to the people of Afghanistan."
From His CO (Commanding Officer):
In astatement, Maj. Michael Wright, commanding officer for 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Rear Party, said that Arnal "brought experience and passion to his job and his loss is a blow to his fellow soldiers in Bravo Company and to the entire battle group."
Wright said Arnal "served with distinction" in Kandahar Province from August 2006 to February 2007 and upon his return to Canada expressed a desire to return to Afghanistan -- a wish that was granted.
"Our condolences go out to his family in Winnipeg and we now make a solemn vow to ensure his final voyage home is conducted with the dignity befitting a hero," wrote Wright.
Message From Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada
The terrible news of the death of Corporal James (Jim) Hayward Arnal, an infanteer serving with the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group, is another cruel blow to all of us, wherever we may be.
Like his comrades, Corporal Arnal always faced the dangers of this mission with courage and with the deep conviction he was helping humanity, assisting in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and leading the mission on to success. We all commend his commitment, his sacrifices, and the hopes and benefits that his presence made possible.
My husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, and I share the sorrow of Corporal Arnal's family and the distress of his fellow soldiers and we offer them our most sincere condolences. All Canadians join with us in honouring his memory. May his unwavering courage, our esteem and our thoughts ease your sorrow.
Ramp Ceremony- He's coming Home
The body of Cpl. James Hayward Arnal was lifted onto a military plane during a sunset ceremony for his final voyage home.
Hundreds of Canadian soldiers and their allies came Sunday to bid Arnal a solemn farewell during a ramp ceremony at Kandahar Airfield.
Arnal was killed by a roadside bomb. His battle group commander praised him as born leader.
"(He) was the type of soldier who set the example for all of us to emulate," said Lt.-Col. Dave Corbould.
"He was a key motivator -- almost the glue of the platoon and the section -- to which people naturally just joined on to."
Arnal left a lucrative career in the information-technology sector to join the military.
He was already on his second tour of Afghanistan in two years, and was already pushing his superiors to send him back for a third trip to the battle zone in 2009.
Corbould called him fearless.
"He couldn't wait to get on our current task force, and he was already trying to butt in line to get on the next tour," he said.
"That's the kind of adventurous spirit and sense of duty he had.
The tentative date of repatriation of Corporal James (Jim) Hayward Arnal is:
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
at 2:00 pm (1400)
CFB Trenton, ON
Gather along HWY 2 (base to RCAF Rd) or on the Highway 401 bridges/overpasses, roadsides, to honour our repatriated soldier and his families as they travel the Highway of Heroes (Hwy 401W) from Trenton to Toronto. Hold a flag, wear red or salute our fallen soldier giving the family comfort in showing our compassion. Be part of the thousands who just simply want to say "thank you".