Two Mississippi Guardsmen Killed In Iraq

Two Mississippi soldiers were killed in Iraq this past weekend when an improvised explosive device detonated outside of Amiriyah - some 25 miles west of Baghdad.

Spc. Terrance Lee, 25, of Moss Point, and Sgt. Larry Arnold, 46, of Carriere were assigned to the Mississippi Army National Guard's Company B, 150th Combat Engineer Battalion in Lucedale.

Family members described Sergeant Larry Arnold Senior as a caring man who loved his family, his country and the military. Arnold served in the Mississippi National Guard for nearly 14 years. He leaves behind a wife and three sons.

One of his sons, 21-year-old Bobby Arnold, served in the same guard unit as his dad. Bobby Arnold was home for two weeks leave when the family got the news that his father had been killed.

"Right now, it's like a nightmare. I don't think the reality has set in a 100 percent yet. They've all lost their best friend. I lost my best friend," Arnold's wife Melinda said.

The two had been married for 28 years. Before being activated with the 155th, Larry Arnold worked as an electrician in Poplarville.

Terrance Lee was a 1999 graduate of Moss Point High School and joined the Guard in 2002. His mother and grandmothers describe him as a young man with strong convictions.

"I am heavily burdened because we lost him, but I am very, very proud of the way we lost him because he was doing something very beneficial to our country," Lee's grandmother Leona Triplett said.

Before being called to active duty, Lee worked as a welder at Northrop Grumman Shipyard in Pascagoula. That's where he met his wife Stephanie, who works as a pipefitter at the shipyard.

She is expecting their third child in September. Lee also leaves behind two sons, Terrance Jr., 5, and Ramone, 3.

On Monday, Northrop Grumman's President Philip Dur offered condolences to his family, calling Lee "a valued coworker and a friend" and praising his service making "the ultimate sacrifice while serving his country."

Governor Haley Barbour also offered condolences to both the Lee and Arnold families.

Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.