Chris Aranda, Retired U.S. Army and Iraq Veteran, Turned Passionate Golfer and Grandad
by Melissa LaScaleia
Introduce me to your family.
I am a parent of two beautiful children. Justin, my son, is a twenty-seven year old graduate of the College of Charleston. He lives in Mount Pleasant, SC and works in the TV industry. My daughter, Kaela, is in her senior year at Coastal Carolina University, and blessed me by making me a happy grandfather this Thanksgiving to a little girl, Ava Penelope.
Where are all the places you came from? Where do you live now?
I was born in Adrian, Michigan. I joined the service back in 1984, and my first duty station was Fort Knox, Kentucky. Then I moved to Fort Ord, in Monterey, California. I did a tour in South Korea, and was stationed in the 25th infantry division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. I currently reside in Murrells Inlet.
Why did you move to Myrtle Beach?
Before I was deployed to Iraq, I was stationed here in Myrtle Beach, and I realized I was going to return to the regular army. My family had settled in Myrtle Beach, so I made this place my home upon retirement.
Do you have a favorite place in Myrtle Beach?
The Veteran’s Cafe— because that’s a comfort zone for me. I get to meet those heroes in our community.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Myrtle Beach?
The veteran community. It’s such a user-friendly veteran community. We take care of our own here. I’m a golfer, so I’m in the right place for that hobby.
What new activities have you taken up since moving here?
Golf has been my passion since I’ve moved here. I’m very competitive and love to compete against myself.
Can you share one quirky fact with us about your family?
My daughter went to the hospital with the flu over Thanksgiving and came home with a baby. She was pregnant and had no idea— she had had her menstrual period throughout the entire pregnancy. She gained a total of 11 pounds. When she got to the hospital, she was in labor, and had a baby in 47 minutes.
What are your favorite things to do here?
Caring for my veterans and my community, that’s really my focal point. I also run a non-profit golf tournament annually in the community— it’s called Tee-Off for Veterans. This year, on July 6, marks the 10th year anniversary celebration.
Is there anything that you miss or would like to see in Myrtle Beach?
No. I really am content with everything this place has to offer.