Open Arms To Host Veterans On Captiva
On Friday, April 19, Operation Open Arms – a locally founded, nationally acclaimed military outreach program – will officially be eight years old. The brainchild of Captain John “Giddy-up” Bunch, Operation Open Arms is a not-for-profit organization that has a calling and reputation for providing much deserved vacations and R&R benefits to active duty U.S. military service people and their families.
To cite an example of OOA’s works, on Thursday. April 18 representatives from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office will provide an honor escort for Lance Corporal Christian Brown, Lance Corporal Jonathan Carnes and Brown’s mother, Lyn Braden-Reed, as they travel from Southwest Florida International Airport to Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort on Captiva. The combat-wounded USMC’s veterans will be on Captiva for five nights and currently have plans for fishing with local guides and a wild hog hunting trip, coordinated by Lieutenant Tim Barrett of the Sanibel Fire Department.
In December 2011, while in Kajaki, Afghanistan, conducting combat operations during Operation Enduring Freedom, Brown was leading his squad on foot patrol when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) and was seriously injured. In November 2011, while on his first active-duty deployment in Sangin, Afghanistan, Carnes was also seriously injured by an IED. The two Marines met during an extensive period of recovery at Walter Reed Medical Center. Operation Open Arms believes these honorable young men are more than ready for some good, old-fashioned, Southwest Florida R&R.
Along with contributions by Southwest Airlines, Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort & Marina, YOLO Watersports, RC Otters
and The Green Flash restaurants, to name just a few, Operation Open Arms will participate in a sunset parade with
Captiva’s Marching Mullet Band on Friday, April 19 in recognizing the service of Christian Brown and Jonathan Carnes.
The parade will start at Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort and Marina at 7:35 p.m. All are welcome to participate in this event
and applaud these fine young men.
To learn more about Christian Brown, you can go to the informative Facebook page which is hosted by Lyn Braden-
Reed and updated frequently about her son’s progress. On Facebook, search for “Support LCPL Christian Brown, USMC,
For more information, contact www. operationopenarms.org, call Dave Jensen at Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort at 472-
5800 or visit http://www.marchingmullet.com.