Arnold Robert Stankus
West Point, 1969
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by William H. Ward on January 4, 2015:
To say that I feel a sense of loss at Arny's passing is an understatement. It still bothers me so much that I haven't been able to bring myself to write/contribute to his TAPS Memorial Article, which I WILL get to in due course.
Arn and I were drawn together from early in Plebe Year, throughout our Cadet Days and into our Army and Post-Army lives. We were on AOT Training together at Fort Hood, TX in the summer of 1967. When we graduated, he was the Best Man at my wedding.
Over the years, we linked up whenever we could, on occasions too numerous to mention. I made more than a few trips to Cleveland over the years and always took advantage of his standing invitation to "drop in" anytime I was in driving distance of 3555 Rocky River Road in Cleveland.
At our 40th Reunion, he took my hand and put it on his pacemaker with some deprecating humor and false pride. About a year later, in August 2010, I found myself in northern Indiana on a business trip and drove back by way of Cleveland to visit him. When I called, I learned he was in the hospital; it was a no-brainer--I drove directly to the Parkview Hospital, for which I still have the temporary ID Card issued to me as a visitor. During my first visit, he gave me the key to his house, and I stayed there until the next day when we visited for the last time.
We spoke several times before his final battle in September 2012, most recently in May 2012, while he was on a round-robin of visits that took him to Charlotte, N.C. He was upbeat about the trip and stayed active with his work until his physical condition made it impossible for him to continue.
I still feel the sadness and emptiness I felt when I first learned of his passing. His grit, determination, and humor made him stand out as a truly special person, friend, and classmate. I'll always remember and miss him.
Godspeed, My Friend,
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