Being a relatively small man, in stature if not in heart, and also realizing that he was Gay, he knew he had to do as well or better than the others. He later admitted that he was scared, but that only proved to strengthen his resolve.
He was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington, for training as a firefighter. After completing his schooling, and in typical Army Fashion, Arch was assigned to an infantry unit as a rifleman. He was shipped to Europe, arriving in France on the day President Roosevelt died.
After the Nazis were defeated in Europe, Arch was transferred to the Philippines in preparation for the invasion of Japan. He was honorably discharged at Fort Bragg. Archs experiences during World War II, most of which cannot be printed here, are chronicled in the book My Country, My Right To Serve, by Mary Ann Humphrey, 1990, and in numerous interviews over the years.
The Japanese surrendered! The Nazis Surrendered! They sent Arch to Europe: They sent Arch to the Pacific:
Arch was a Charter member of Alexander Hamilton Post 448 of the American Legion, the nations only predominantly GLBT post. He served in numerous offices including Commander and most recently Judge Advocate, and was a Delegate for many years to the American Legion War Memorial Commission. Considered by many to be the heart and soul of the Post, he was active in Post matters right up to the end. At the last General Membership Meeting, 16 June 2011, he gave an impassioned speech calling for the members to unite in their fight with the Trustees to insure Veterans rights and control of the War Memorial Veterans Building. The building was meant by the voters of San Francisco to benefit the average Veteran in need of care and service, he said, not to benefit the wealthy Fine Arts people.
Arch was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Veterans for Peace, and a long-time member of historical preservation organizations, the Victorian Alliance and the California Heritage Council. Arch was an avid patron of the performing arts and the opera, and was a Gay-rights and human-rights activist belonging to such diverse groups as Servicemens Legal Defense Fund, NAACP, Amnesty International, Greenbelt Alliance, and the Interfaith Alliance.