Robert "Bob" Roland Arnau
Final Flight on February 24, 2015
~Click on photos to enlarge~
Robert "Bob" R. Arnau, Colonel, USAF (Retired)
June 03, 1933 - February 24, 2015
~A Shared Memory~
The following thoughts are from a journal entry that Col. Arnau wrote, in 1970, while on his way home from Thailand at the end of his tour with the 21st SOS at Nakhon Phanom, Thailand.
He carried it around with him in his attaché case for the next 19 years of his military career.
None of his family had ever seen it until it was discovered after his death.
Shared courtesy of the Arnau family, his wife, daughter, sons and grandchildren,
Mary, Michelle, Rob, John, Olivia & Jake
Thoughts on Returning from War
By Colonel Robert R. Arnau
(Major Arnau at time of writing)
I have finished fighting my first war. God knows I hope it is also my last. Unfortunately, the war continues at full pitch, unabated. There is no avoiding the cliché – war is indeed hell! I find my capability as a writer totally inadequate to describe the personal emotions of one involved. Needless to say they are deep, strong, sometimes nearly overwhelming. The constant presence of fear is a terrible thing, yet it is there every day in varying degrees for each man participating. For some, the fear is continually enormous. For others it is undulating, sometimes great, sometimes nearly absent. It is axiomatic that bravery acknowledges the presence of fear. Without the latter, the former cannot exist. Consequently, bravery must be judged in terms of the fear overcome. A routine act by one may well be heroic by another. The threshold of fear, that point where fear becomes truly significant, varies greatly between individuals. Strangely, this threshold sometimes appears to vary within the individual. One day he is fearless – the next obsessed with the presence of danger.
The true test of bravery then is the completion of the mission in the presence of fear. This I have seen daily, continually in my war. Men accomplishing assigned tasks in the presence of gut rendering fear. What is this fear? Of injury? No. It is a fear of cessation of existence. The fear of not returning to one’s family. The fear of not being permitted to fulfill one’s normal lifespan. This is an awesome thing yet surely is as old as war itself.
In my peculiar war, where one is allotted a specified time span of duty, the fear seems to grow as one nears the goal of a completed tour.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Just another Dusty wingman from the 21st SOS. I'll be along a bit later.
Michael Sullivan, Portland, Oregon
Saturday, February 28, 2015
I flew several missions on CH-3E helicopters out of Thailand, while with the 21st SOS, as part of Bob's crew. A great helicopter pilot, a superb officer and a valued friend. I'm extremely proud to have served in the Air Force with Bob and honored to have had him as a friend. He will be remembered and missed.
God rest his soul. May God comfort and protect the Arnau family.
Jim Burns, Navarre, Florida