The Interview: Hank Arnold


Special to The Paper

This month, The Paper visited with Hank Arnold for its August Q&A.

Briefly describe yourself and what you do/did.
I’m a follower of Jesus, devoted husband to my beautiful wife Shelly, father of 5, one son, Sebastian and four daughters, Makayla, Janie, Lexi, and Kennedi. I’m a recovery advocate and friend of Jimmy K.

I was born and raised in Griffin and now a resident of the best community in all the land, Newnan.

I’m the founder and director of an independent, nonprofit, grassroots, Recovery Community Organization, Coweta FORCE.

Sebastian, 23, and his girlfriend, Rylee Lester, were killed Jan. 5 of this year in a tragic car accident. They were on their way back home to Oklahoma after a three-week visit with us here in Newnan over the Christmas holidays.

Best piece of advice you’ve received.
If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.

If I had it to do over …
Loss has taught me to always tell the people I love how I feel about them regularly. Drive that extra mile, send that message, make that phone call, spend that Saturday, make things right often and quickly.

You are going on an extended solo trip. What three albums and three books would you take?
Jack Johnson, In Between Dreams
Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
Pacific Dub, Million Pieces
Spiritual Principal a Day
The New Testament
Sarah Young’s, Jesus Calling

Tell us one thing about yourself that few people know.
I once hitchhiked from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Atlanta.

You are hosting a dinner party for six. What five people, living or dead, would you invite and why.
1) My oldest child, Sebastian Arnold, because I’d do anything to have one more encounter with him in this life.
2) My Grandfather, Everette Moore, because he was the most influential man who taught me so much through his example.
3) My grandmother Daphne Moore, because she always loved me unconditionally and my fondest childhood memories were created with her.
4) Jesus, because He’s the absolute best and I’d love to be physically united with Him in this life.
5) My wife, Shelly, because I’d love to share this experience with her.
This group has had the greatest influence on my life and it would be a fantastic opportunity to all be together!

Name an as yet unfulfilled dream.
Get a masters degree in social work.

If you weren’t doing what you are, you would be …
Working with at-risk youth or living a super simple life off the grid with lots of adventure.

Your go-to food.
Cheeseburgers are my favorite!

Favorite movies(s):
The Goonies
Pulp Fiction

Dogs or cats?
Dogs for sure. We have two, Stella is a six-year-old shih tzu and Marlee is a five-year-old labradoodle.

Your favorite quote.
If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself. – Henry Ford
I believe in the power of community and working together toward a common goal for the betterment of humanity.

Name something that you are extremely glad you did or accomplished.
I’m a person in long-term recovery. What that means to me is I haven’t used a mind or mood altering substance to change the way I experience life since January 10th, 2010.

Making the choice to be in recovery has given me the ability to be my true authentic self and it’s a part of every fiber of my being. It allows me to be a better husband, father, son, brother, neighbor, and community member.

What advice would you give your younger self?
God is and always has been for you. It’s okay to be who you are. Get busy learning to love yourself and discover your purpose!

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