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Nevada County People: Military Doctor with local ties tends

Army and Air Force Hometown News
Special to The Union

Air Force Capt. Dr. James J. Arnold is in Afghanistan serving as a member of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT)-Qalat.

He is the son of Jim and Deb Arnold, of Grass Valley.

The PRT is a joint U.S. Air Force and Army team assigned to the country’s volatile province of Zabul.



Arnold is working as a physician for the provincial reconstruction team, working for the Governor of Zabul Province to provide humanitarian needs to the villagers.

The family physician is regularly assigned to the 36th Medical Group at Andersen Air Force Base, Yigo, Guam. The captain has served in the military for four years.




Members of the PRT are part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, part of civil-military operations designed to extend the reach and legitimacy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The team’s mission is to promote good governance and justice to stabilize the country; enable an active and effective Afghan security force; and facilitate reconstruction, development and economic growth.

The PRT also provides humanitarian assistance to villagers in efforts to foster future relations with the community leaders.

While the mission was to administer intestinal parasite medication, Arnold came across an unusual injury and gives this account of the incident:

“There was a gentleman who worked for the Afghan National Police who had a bullet go through the roof of his mouth about a year ago,” Arnold said. “He had a hole that traveled from the roof of his mouth out his right eyeball.

“He had a serious eye infection when I saw him, so I treated that,” Arnold said. “We’re going to try to arrange for him to go to a hospital in Kabul or Kandahar to get reconstructive surgery.”

Arnold graduated in 1993 from Woodcrest Christian High School in Riverside and received a bachelor’s degree in 1998 from California State University, Chico. He earned a doctor of osteopathy degree in 2003 from Des Moines University in Iowa.


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