PARIS – James Arsenault has been named Veteran of the Month at the Maine Veterans’ Home, Paris.

Arsenault is a combat veteran of World War II. Inducted into the U.S. Army on April 7, 1943, he served in the United States until sent overseas on July 9, 1944. Arsenault landed in the midst of the fierce German resistance that marked the last months before Germany’s surrender on May 7, 1945.

As daughter Sandra commented, “He was certainly in the thick of things.” He participated in the campaigns and battles of northern France, Rhineland and central Europe.

Keeping his memories of that time to himself, Sandra recalls one her dad did share. While in Germany, Arsenault stepped on a board with a nail in it and was sent off to the hospital. The next day his entire platoon was wiped out. This twist of fate left him “feeling guilty for a long time afterwards.”

Arsenault was honorably discharged on Jan. 24, 1946, as a Private 1st Class. He had been trained as a telephone switchboard operator and was a 1st class gunner. He received the Combat Infantryman Badge, the European, African, Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon and the Victory Medal.

Born in Chisholm, Arsenault returned after the war and settled in Mexico where he and his wife raised two daughters and a son. He was employed by the Oxford Paper Mill, making the glossy paper used for super calendars.

Hobbies included fishing, horse and dog racing and playing cards, especially cribbage. A widower and the last of four siblings, Arsenault resides in the B unit.


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