'Go Fund Me' Off Guam: Air Force Spouse Starts Fundraiser

Update: the post was removed from Go Fund Me at about 6 p.m. ET today. 

With threats from North Korea against Guam, a U.S. territory and home to 13,000 military family members, at least one Air Force spouse is raising money to get her family off the island ASAP. 

Rachael Rademacher, who says on her Facebook page that she is at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, launched a Go Fund Me  fundraiser for $6,000 to cover the cost of getting off the island, she wrote. As of this August 12 writing she had raised $270.

"With all the sudden threats to Guam, I am not willing to risk the lives of my children and stay here," she wrote. "However, I do not have a Nuclear Threat Savings account and tickets are averaging $2000 a piece. Although our military could be evacuating us if things escalate, I feel as though they are cutting it awfully close to North Korea's deadline. Help me get myself and my two baby boys off this island in time."

Redemacher's photo shows her with two small boys. She did not respond to requests for comment via email and Facebook.

North Korea on August 9 threatened to launch missiles at Guam and create an "enveloping fire" around the island. Homeland Security officials on Guam, which is home to 160,000, have said citizens are safe to stay, and officials at Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam have not announced evacuations. 

"Recent rhetoric does not change our confidence, our readiness, and our preparedness to prevail. We always maintain a high state of readiness and have the capabilities to counter any threat," Andersen officials posted on their Facebook page.

President Donald Trump Friday pledged his support to Guam and told Guam's governor, Eddie Calvo, and that the threats have made Guam and Calvo "extremely famous." 

"I have to tell you, you have become extremely famous all over the world. They are talking about Guam; and they’re talking about you," Trump said in the phone call, which Calvo posted to his Facebook page.

Military families stationed on Guam and other OCONUS bases are able to use the Space-A air travel system which will transport via "hops" passengers to whatever location the military aircraft is headed if there is room on board. To fly Space-A, passengers are given category designations, which are based on whether or not they are uniformed personnel, family members, retirees or other permitted travelers. Many Space-A flights carry a small fee, known as a "head tax," of about $30 per passenger. 

Flying Space-A is not always comfortable, and land you somewhere far away from home. It also can be unpredictable, making flying with small children particularly difficult. 

The Andersen Passenger Terminal has posted several flights off Guam over the last few days, including a flight to Hawaii, two traveling to or through Alaska and a flight to Japan. Some quick flight searching showed commercial ticket prices off Guam to Tucson, Arizona, where Rademacher posted she's from, at about $1,500 a piece. 

Rademacher did not say in her post whether or not she had considered using Space-A. 

Commenters have reacted to Rademacher's request for funds with skepticism and, in some cases, name-calling. Some advised she take Space-A, visit the base's emergency relief office for a loan or grant, or use a credit card rather than solicit funds.  


This post was updated to clarify that not all Space-A flights carry the head tax fee. 

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