The call has gone out to raise money for a memorial for Arnold Holm, a Waterford man who died in 1972 serving in Vietnam but whose body was not buried at Arlington National Cemetery until 2011.
Bill Cavalieri, Holm’s best friend and classmate at Waterford High School, along with others are asking for money to build a memorial for Holm. In August, the Recreation and Parks Commission unanimously approved renaming the duck pond within Civic Triangle Park the Arnold E. Holm Jr. Memorial Park per request of Cavalieri and now he is looking to raise money to for signs and a granite block for the memorial.
“No one has brought more honor to the Town of Waterford than Arnie Holm,” Cavalieri wrote in a recent letter to Waterford High School’s Class of 1962 to try to raise money. “This memorial isn’t about the athlete or the military warrior; it’s about the man, his character, his leadership and his unbelievable accomplishments in his short 28 years of life.”
Who Was Holm?
Holm was Waterford High School’s first great athlete, as he was the captain or co-captain of nine different sport teams. In his letter to the Recreation and Parks Commission to get the duck pond renamed, Cavalieri said Holm was ultra-competitive, was always looking for the next challenge and was far more mature and wiser than other students his age.
After graduating high school in 1962, Holm earned a scholarship to Springfield College, according to the letter. But college wasn’t for him, so Holm dropped out and enlisted in the army, according to the letter.
There, he excelled, winning dozens of awards for bravery and courage, according to the letter. He eventually was promoted to Second Lieutenant, a rank generally given to people who graduate from college in a military program or graduates from West Point, according to the letter.
The promotions continued, with Holm eventually being promoted to Captain, according to the letter. He also was trained to become a helicopter pilot, where he consistently volunteered himself for the most dangerous missions, Cavalieri wrote.
In 1972, at the age of 28, Holm’s helicopter was shot down and he was killed. It would take until 2011, after Waterford High School students joined the charge, that Holm’s body was finally identified and brought home.
In November of 2011, his body was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, with his daughter – who was 4 when he died, and is now a mother in her forties – and wife in attendance.
Donations for the memorial should be sent to:
The Waterford Parks Foundation - Arnie Holm Fund
C/0 Chelsea Groton Bank/Anne Odgen
157 Boston Post Road
Waterford, Ct 06385