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Operation Open Arms welcomes USMC veteran to Captiva Island

May 8, 2013
Pine Island Eagle

Special to The Eagle

Lance Cpl. Christian Brown recently enjoyed a five-night stay at Jensen's Twin Palm Resort on Captiva Island. Operation Open Arms, a locally founded and nationally-acclaimed military outreach program, made his visit possible.

Brown and his mother, Lyn Braden-Reed, were treated to an escort by the Lee County Sheriff's Office from Southwest Florida International Airport to Captiva. They enjoyed fishing with local guides and wild hog hunting trip, coordinated by Lt. Tim Barrett of the Sanibel Fire Department. They also participated in Captiva's Marching Mullet Band parade in which Brown was the honored wounded warrior.

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 and was seriously injured.

The Marine endured an extensive period of recovery at Walter Reed Medical Center. Operation Open Arms believed this honorable young man was ready for some old-fashioned rest and relaxation. Along with contributions by Southwest Airlines, Jensen's Twin Palm Resort and Marina, YOLO Watersports, RC Otters and The Green Flash restaurants Operation Open Arms ensured Brown and his mother experienced a relaxing Southwest Florida adventure.

Operation Open Arms, the brainchild of Captain John "Giddy-up" Bunch, is a non-profit organization that has a calling and reputation for providing much deserved vacations benefits to active duty U.S. Military service people and their families. It celebrated its 8th anniversary on April 19.



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