Sixty years of travel land Bunch in Breckenridge
BRECKENRIDGE – Troy Bunch is a traveling man.
Born in Devonia, Tenn., as the last of 10 children, the Breckenridge man got the urge to travel shortly after his mother died and his father began making road trips to visit relatives throughout the United States.
When Bunch was 18, he signed up in the Army.
“I saw a bigger and better world out there,” he said. “There were more things I wanted to see. The Army’s a great place to get traveling miles, and I took advantage of it.”
His first tour of duty landed him in a supply warehouse in Bremerhaven, Germany, where he got a crash course in other cultures. At the end of the tour – and after he’d met a woman he was to marry – the Berlin Crisis struck, effectively delaying school and marriage.
The two did wed, and he moved to Santa Rosa, Calif., to work as a tax collector. But the traveling bug had bitten, and the couple decided Bunch would re-enlist, which he did, in the military intelligence branch, in 1962.
With his top-secret security clearance in hand – Bunch still declines to give details about what information he collected – the couple moved to Germany for three years.
When the Vietnam crisis began to heat up, Bunch wanted to go, but his superiors shipped him to Sinop, Turkey, where he worked within the defense attache system. In friendly countries, people like Bunch built relationships; in not-so-amiable places, they’d gather intelligence – Bunch says he was a “collector of idle chatter.”
In 1963, he and his wife had a daughter, followed by a son the next year. Bunch’s father suffered a stroke in 1967, so the couple returned to the U.S., where Bunch further developed his intelligence-gathering skills.
In 1969, he was off to Tehran, Iran, for 18 months.
“They only would send you there for 18 months because it was not considered a good place to be,” Bunch said. “It’s a scary environment.”
He retired from the Army in 1979, taking home Army Commendation, National Defense Service, Good Conduct and Meritorious Service medals. He and his wife divorced, and Bunch returned to school to obtain a business degree – a goal he never quite reached for all the partying he was catching up on.
Later, he found himself in Flower Mound, Texas, where he met Liz, his current wife, and her two children, Robert and Michael. There, they opened an interior design business and brought it from nothing to an almost $1 million endeavor.
His stepson Michael moved to Breckenridge in 1994, and the couple followed a year later. Bunch had seen Breckenridge in 1986, and thought the place a little rustic, but he liked the looks of it.
“And I loved the summers and the skiing,” he said.
The couple moved here in August 2001. He sold ads for tourist maps for a year, all the while hearing complaints about local delivery companies. He opened Arcadia Peak in April 2003 and began anew in the shipping and delivery business.
Bunch has kept up with situations abroad, and he’s not one to keep his opinions to himself – particularly after Sept. 11, 2001. He denounces former President Bill Clinton for not having taken terrorist activities – the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, embassy and ship bombings – seriously.
“We had this intelligence,” Bunch said. “It’s out there. We know where the stuff is coming from. If the man who’s sitting in the big seat doesn’t call the shots … We should have stepped forward on this.”
His patriotism runs deep.
“I believe you abide by the rules, you honor your flag and protect your country,” he said. “If you can’t do that, you need to find another place to live. People come here and take advantage of all the country has to offer, and they don’t appreciate what we’re fighting for. We need to maintain our level of patriotism to protect our way of life, to protect our people.”
He still keeps his eyes out for suspicious people and activities, but he’s trying to fit more biking, hiking and skiing into his life.
“This is where I’m going to end up,” he said looking out over the mountains. “I love it, the vistas, the clean environment, the friendly people. I like to be part of this community. This is the premier life.”
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or
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