A Gold's Gym in Westborough, MA, is mourning the loss of a soldier who was killed last week in Afghanistan.
Spc. Brian Arsenault, 28, died last Thursday from injuries suffered when his Army unit was engaged by enemy small-arms fire, the Worcester (MA) Telegram and Gazette reported.
Gold's Gym Westborough said on its Facebook page that Arsenault, of Northboro, MA, not only was a club member but had worked for the club for two years under previous ownership.
"Sorry to hear the passing of our member Brian Arsenault who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country overseas," the club said on its Facebook page. "His dad Dan and uncle Alan are members also and train regularly at 5 a.m. during the week. RIP Brian and our sincere condolences go out to the family at this time."
A cousin of Arsenault's also is a member of the club, which announced a fundraiser has been started for the family at www.gofundme.com/brian-arsenault. More than $9,000 has been raised as of Tuesday morning.
Upon notification of Arsenault's death, the Gold's Gym corporate office in Dallas released the following statement to Club Industry: "We have many members and employees at Gold's Gym who have either served or are currently serving in the military. We are proud and honored that they are part of the Gold's Gym family, but deeply saddened to learn of news like this. Our hearts and prayers go out to Spc. Arsenault's family."
Arsenault's parents told the Telegram and Gazette that Arsenault was deployed to Afghanistan in January and his tour was due to end around Nov. 23.
In a statement from the Pentagon, Lt. Col. Chris Hockenberry, Arsenault's battalion commander, said: "We have suffered a great loss in the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment and express our deepest condolences. Spc. Arsenault was an exceptional Paratrooper and a valued member of our team. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time."