Names of our Fallen lovingly read by
Gold Star Mother Nancy Geary
& Gold Star Uncle Bill Geary.
Video photos by Friend of the Fallen Alan Glassman.



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Click to GO to Photo Gallery
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ARMY CORPORAL
NICHOLAS ARVANITIS

October 5, 1984 ~ October 6, 2006

1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment
82nd Airborne Division,
Fort Bragg, NC

22, of Salem, NH; killed in action by enemy fire he
encountered in Bayji, Iraq
.

  Visit Nick's Bio page
 

Friends say Nick had a lust for life that wasn't easy to contain. He rattled windows when he played guitar with his metal band, Thrall. At concerts, he started mosh pits, slamming himself into the biggest guys he could find.  Even in defeat - when another wrestler pinned him or he struck out at bat - he kept a huge grin on his face.
Nick, a Salem High School graduate, was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, he had already served a combat tour in Afghanistan when he volunteered to go to Iraq in August 2006. "He wanted to be a major player in the war," said his sister, Kim, who tried to persuade him to take a recruiting job he was offered after his first tour. "All he would say to me was, 'I want to go with my guys. I want to get them through this and get them all home."
 His friends say Nick loved being part of a team, whether it was the jazz band, the marching band or the wrestling team. He was not intimidated by challenges or sacrifices he had to make to be part of a group.
Marty Claussen, who directs the marching band and jazz ensemble at Salem High, said Nick was a go-to guy. He once asked Nick, a baritone player, to switch to the cumbersome sousaphone for a march in the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Calif. Another time, he asked him to fill in for a guitar player in a percussion ensemble. Nick had only a week to learn the music that others had worked on for months, but he didn't panic or hesitate to accept said Claussen.
Nick hoped to pursue a career in music but after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he felt compelled to enlist in the military. "After Sept. 11, Nick told me he had to do what had to be done," said Robert Stickney, the father of one of Nick's closest friends, Keith Stickney. "He said his music could wait."
His sister Kim said she should have guessed her brother's future career when he was 5: She caught him jumping off the top bunk bed onto a beanbag chair. "I said, 'Are you crazy?' “ He just grinned at her. Kim, who joined the Air Force after high school, wasn't the only one who worried when her brother announced he was joining the 82nd Airborne, an infantry unit that frequently deploys to dangerous combat areas. Ben Adams, a history teacher at Salem High and a former airborne soldier, remembers when Nick told him he had joined an airborne unit. "He could see that I had significant concerns," he said. "In the 82nd, he was going to be in harm's way." "He looked at me and said, 'It's something I gotta do,' " Adams said.