January 5, 1985
February 15, 2005
20 years old
Army SPC Michael A. Aricola died of injuries sustained from enemy small arms fire in Ramadi, Iraq while serving with 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division out of Camp Casey, Korea.
United States of America
Arlington National Cemetery, Section 60 Site 8015
1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division
Teresa Arciola – Memories of her son Michael
Michael was the youngest of four. He was the observer of all around him, developing a sense of humor that surpassed most. He was the “quiet one,” or so I thought. His understanding of humor was varied, ranging from The Honeymooners, Laurel and Hardy to Will Farrell and Mike Myers.
Michael could be intense. Nothing was done halfway. While playing ball in a youth league he would be seen clenching his fists running down the court intercepting the ball all the while holding up his lucky drawers. He was quite a sight. He was totally focused during baseball season as well. He played catcher for The Elmsford Little League. In his final year as catcher he always knew where the ball was needed and making sure it got there, bringing the District Championship to his team.
September 11th was the day that cemented his decision to fight for our country. Previously thinking about joining the service or possibly applying to West Point, he changed course, joined the deferred entry program so that after graduating he would go immediately to boot camp. His plan — to kill Osama Bin Laden himself.
After Michael passed, his friends gave us insight into the man he had become. Loyal, driven, funny, loving and a good soldier. My son had good friends. They shared their love of him with us whether they had known him only briefly or their whole lives — both those in the Village of Elmsford, where he was raised, or in the Army where the relationships were developed quickly but intensely. Many of the stories they shared were humorous, Michael could make anyone smile. It was his gift.
A website created by Maria Prestigiagcomo gave many of the friends a place to share his story and since the internet has a long life Michael will remain not only in his friends hearts but in the cloud.
Another story not just about Michael but about friendship was written by sports writer Jack McCallum for Sports Illustrated in October 2007. More insights on friendship, war and sports.
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Teresa Arciola, Mother
|Awards, Honors and Achievements||
Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantry Award