Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Lake Stevens man tells story of five brothers serving in WWII at the same time


October 22, 2013

Arnold Chafin, 89, has returned to Lake Stevens after a 15 year absence. Chafin, like most vets who served in World War II, has a great story to tell of he and his four brothers and their service to their country.

For many families, having one son go off to war was hard enough but Chafin’s parents had five sons who headed into the unknown back in the 1940s.

Arnold, Edwin (who had a twin sister, Edna) and Albert were all in the Army while Donald, Arnold’s twin brother and Philip, the oldest of the brothers, served in the Navy.

His parents lived in Hamilton, Ohio where they raised their six children. At one time they had five stars in their window—an indication of how many of their family members were serving in the military.

“My mother and father couldn’t do anything about it because four of us were drafted. Donald, my twin enlisted,” Arnold said, “I am proud of all five of us being in the service at the same time.”

While it was definitely a trying time for the Chafin family, and the country, they were blessed to have all five of their sons return home with no serious injuries.

“We were the talk of the neighborhood, but none of us were injured,” Arnold said. “We all went in and we all came out.”

Arnold is almost 90 years old and his dream is to live to be 100 years old.

“I’m the only one left out of my siblings. My life’s ambition is to live to 100 years old and get my picture on TV,” he said with a chuckle.

Arnold grew up in Ohio and got married soon after leaving the Army. He and his wife had two daughters, one of which is Sally Dooley who is married to Lake Stevens City Councilman Neal Dooley. Arnold lives with the Dooleys.

Arnold remarried years later.

“I moved up to Washington and met my first wife’s bridesmaid and married her. Also, my daughter and her husband live here,” Arnold explained.

“We moved to Michigan for 15 years and I couldn’t wait to get back to Lake Stevens. I missed riding across the trestle the most out of everything in Lake Stevens. I think it’s because I know I’m getting close to home.”


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