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September 13, 2011
By DREW WINCHESTER (email@example.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze
Operation Open Arms is hoping the community will step up to help a Marine home on leave in Cape Coral.
The Marine is due to visit family in the Cape, but he had to buy his own plane ticket home from Yerervan, Armenia. The corporal is a highly decorated guard who served in Afghanistan and was one of a very few to be selected to guard the American embassy.
Operation Open Arms founder Captain John “Giddyup” Bunch said the State Department will not pay for his ticket home, so the corporal had to charge the $1,687.40 round trip ticket.
Bunch said that the twist is that the State Department will pay for the ambassador and staff, but will not pay for Marines who guard the United States against terrorism to come home while on leave.
“Here’s this kid guarding our ambassadors and staff at the embassy and they can’t pay his way home,” Bunch said.
The Pine Island fishing guide is offering to sell his own personal Marine Corp. Officer sword to help raise money to help his fellow Marine.
The sword is in mint condition, he said.
“There’s one attack after another on these embassies; don’t we owe these guys?” Bunch said. “I’m hoping our community can help resolve this.”