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A Soldier’s Story

MB/MB–based soldiers who have died

3 minute read Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009

SGT. PRESCOTT (SCOTT) SHIPWAY, 36 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2PPCLI), Canadian Forces Base Shilo.

Hometown: Esterhazy, Sask.

Died Sept. 7, 2008, in a roadside bomb explosion in the Panjwaii District.

CPL. ANDREW GRENON*, 23 2PPCLI, Shilo

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No greater loss

Selina Hinds 9 minute read Preview

No greater loss

Selina Hinds 9 minute read Monday, Nov. 9, 2009

She runs her fingers over the engraving of her late son’s name – James Hayward Arnal.

Saying nothing, Wendy Hayward–Miskiewicz edges closer to the newly placed headstone. Tears well in her eyes.

"He was my best friend. And someday I’ll see him again…someday," she says.

Warm sunlight beams down on the quiet cemetery – so quiet you can hear the leaves tumbling on the grass and the cackle of geese flying above.

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Monday, Nov. 9, 2009

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Wendy Hayward-Miskiewicz rubs her son's headstone at Glen Lawn Memorial Gardens. James Hayward Arnal was killed in Afghanistan on July 18, 2008.

Shilo–based comrades bid farewell

Selena Hinds 4 minute read Preview

Shilo–based comrades bid farewell

Selena Hinds 4 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008

Four months after Cpl. James Hayward Arnal made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefields of Afghanistan, the same soldiers that served with him in his final moments joined together with his family in Winnipeg to say goodbye.

In a special Remembrance Day interment service, far from the hot desert sands of Kandahar, more than 60 Canadian Shilo–based soldiers showed their support as Arnal’s family buried him at Glen Lawn Memorial Gardens on Tuesday.

Arnal’s family chose to wait for his comrades to return home this fall before burying his ashes. The 25–year–old Winnipeg soldier, who was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, was killed when he stepped on a roadside bomb while on foot patrol on July 18 of this year. Arnal was the 88th of 97 soldiers to die in combat since the mission in Afghanistan started in 2002.

The soldiers, in their dress uniforms, marched into the cemetery in typical military fashion, as Canadian flags were drawn to half–mast.

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Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008

Joe Bryksa/ Winnipeg Free Press
Comrades bow their heads during a moment of silence at Cpl. James Hayward Arnal's burial service.

Canadian fighter’s view of enemy attack

Selena Hinds 3 minute read Preview

Canadian fighter’s view of enemy attack

Selena Hinds 3 minute read Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008

James Hayward Arnal, raised in Windsor Park, wanted all his life to be a soldier.

When he reached the age of 21 in 2004, he joined the army, was posted to the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and was thrilled in 2006 to find he was going to serve in Afghanistan. It would be a great adventure, he thought.

But once on the ground in Kandahar, Cpl. Arnal found himself increasingly troubled by the poverty around him and the tyranny the Afghans had to endure. He thought that the Canadian military presence was making a difference and when he got home from that first tour, he decided to go back for a second one. This time, he wasn’t expecting a thrill; he was going to help bring a decent life to people who couldn’t do it entirely on their own.

Arnal’s superior officers described the 25–year–old soldier as a strong leader who acted quickly in difficult situations with little or no regard for himself.

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Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008

Provided by Wendy Hayward-Miskiewicz
Undated photo of the James Hayward Arnal while training for the Canadian military in Canada.

His motto was ‘seize the day’

Selena Hinds 5 minute read Preview

His motto was ‘seize the day’

Selena Hinds 5 minute read Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008

Wendy Hayward–Miskiewicz has been through the most difficult 42 days anyone could imagine.

She struggles to get through a full day of work and wakes up many times in the night looking for her son’s face in the dark.

The mother of Cpl. James Arnal, whose death in Afghanistan touched the hearts of thousands of Winnipeggers in July, believes she may finally have found a way to cope with the loss of her son’s life.

"Both Andrew (James’s brother) and I feel lost, and empty. I don’t think we have fully accepted everything, and I don’t think we ever will, actually. So many people have told me that time will heal, but I don’t believe I will ever heal," said Hayward–Miskiewicz in an interview at her St. Vital home Saturday afternoon.

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Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008

Wendy Hayward–Miskiewicz has been through the most difficult 42 days anyone could imagine.

She struggles to get through a full day of work and wakes up many times in the night looking for her son’s face in the dark.

The mother of Cpl. James Arnal, whose death in Afghanistan touched the hearts of thousands of Winnipeggers in July, believes she may finally have found a way to cope with the loss of her son’s life.

"Both Andrew (James’s brother) and I feel lost, and empty. I don’t think we have fully accepted everything, and I don’t think we ever will, actually. So many people have told me that time will heal, but I don’t believe I will ever heal," said Hayward–Miskiewicz in an interview at her St. Vital home Saturday afternoon.