Fisheries & Fish Industry

How this fishing guide helps veterans recovering from PTSD

How this fishing guide helps veterans recovering from PTSD

Capt. John “GiddyUp” Bunch is a professional fishing guide in Florida. But his tours aren’t just for fishing enthusiasts — they’re for veterans.

It started over a decade ago when Bunch met a young soldier who wanted to fish before being deployed. Since that trip out to sea, he’s offered free fishing trips for veterans recovering from PTSD. More than 1,200 trips, in fact.

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Bunch is the founder of a charity called Operation Open Arms, which also provides free vacations, weddings and more to vets who’ve suffered PTSD.

For Bunch, it’s about patriotism.

TODAY

Capt. John “GiddyUp” Bunch out on a fishing trip.

“I do this because I love my country and I do this because America is the greatest country in the world,” he told TODAY’s Kerri Sanders.

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Bunch was recently honored with the army’s highest civilian honor, the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. A fellow recipient, country singer Trace Adkins, told TODAY, “I think it’s so cool what he’s done.”

“To be able to meet a stranger that cares so deeply, it’s an amazing experience,” one vet said.

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