Eligibility for Operation Open Arms Benefits


Operation Open Arms

As a prospective participant, you must read all details about eligibility, how to participate and arrange services, and other participant requirements on this page.

Operation Open Arms is open to U.S. service men and women on leave specific to the following criteria:

  • Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, and Coast Guard: Active Duty or deployed reserve are eligible for Operation Open Arms conditional on receiving Hostile Duty Pay.

The service member must provide a valid Military I.D. and Official Orders directing the service member to return to their foreign assigned post. The leave form is an official Government document labeled DA-31. Upon presenting proof of service and temporary leave documents, Operation Open Arms extends free or discounted benefits through a network of supporting cast members.

Our mission is to provide every possible benefit through a variety of sponsors before our service men and women have to return to Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, or other foreign duty stations.

How to Participate

Compose an email and direct it to jb@operationopenarms.org  Your email should originate from your military email address. The brief narrative should provide a brief introduction of yourself  and your combat leave vacation needs.

Are there limitations?

Benefits are generally limited to one of each type of contribution during your visit. For example, a single fishing trip with one of the captains/guides in the list. This allows the contributors to continue providing the service to many more visitors.

What about gratuities?

Tips or gratuities are encouraged where they are customarily offered. They are not usually included in the donation.

Press Releases & Media

The continued success of this program depends on the excellent coverage and cooperation we have received from our local media. In many cases there will be media coverage of a visit and we ask that the recipient be willing to cooperate for interviews or appearances.

No US Service man or woman is expected to answer any question which could place our national security at risk. Do not discuss the location of your unit, mission, or offer insight into your MOS. However, all OOA participants will fully cooperate with our media on all matters relating to Operation Open Arms. You will be respectful, cordial, and bring credit to the branch of service you represent. Benefits will terminate immediately upon any violation of this policy.

Scheduling & Cancellations

In many cases our contributors have to shuffle their schedules to accommodate trips and other benefits. Additionally, they may have already made arrangements with the media for interviews or stories about the visit. If you have to change your plans, please let them know as far ahead as possible.

In some cases, a benefit, such as a fishing trip or hotel/condo offer may not be available due to previous bookings. Our contributors do everything they can to accommodate the visitors but sometimes just can’t make it happen.

Thank You

Thank you for your service and we hope you and your family enjoy the services offered by our contributors.

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