Chanhassen community unites to get school bus driver to brother's military burial in Washington, DC

His brother was a retired Air Force Master Sergeant who died in Virginia.
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Wednesday was National Bus Driver Appreciation Day in the U.S., and it's fitting that on the very next day an online fundraiser to support a Minnesota school bus driver reached its goal of raising $10,000. 

The fundraiser for Bob Snyder was designed to help get the longtime Chanhassen school bus driver to Washington, D.C. for his brother's military burial at Arlington National Cemetery on Mar. 8. 

Snyder's brother served in the U.S. Air Force for 46 years, the GoFundMe says, and Snyder was able to book a flight and hotel room for himself on a credit card but didn't have the funds to help cover other travel expenses, nor was there enough to bring his wife and daughter along. 

The creator of the GoFundMe account for Snyder, nicknamed "Bob the Bus Driver" and "Mr. Bob," is Leisle AuVante, who said Snyder is a staple in the community who also serves as a Boy Scouts leader. 

"My heart broke when I learned he could not afford to bring his family along or some of the simple necessities like a rental car and meals for this most important ceremony honoring the brother he cherished and a man who gave so much to protecting our country, our liberties… and us," wrote AuVante. 

Recent medical bills totaling $30,000 put Snyder and his family in a pinch, and gall bladder surgery and a knee replacement forced his wife to take time off from work, which limited their income. 

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But thanks to the fundraiser reaching its goal of $10,000 on Thursday morning, Snyder now has enough to take his family with to honor his brother, and travel worry-free. 

"As a community, it’s time to pay it forward and help our local unsung hero, Bob the Bus Driver, on his journey to honor his brother and perhaps make a dent in some of those medical bills too," AuVante added in her fundraiser description. 

Snyder's brother, Gregory Owen Snyder, was a retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant who died peacefully May 20, 2018 at the age of 63 in Blacksburg, Virginia, according to his obituary

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