Posted: Feb 1, 2011 5:48 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: Feb 1, 2011 6:34 PM
A Lafayette resident is safe tonight. He's still over-seas but hundreds of miles away from Egypt. Twenty-one year old Matthew McGoffin arrived in Cairo on January 17 to study abroad.
He's in his third year at West Point. His father, Gary McGoffin, was all for his son studying Arabic abroad for a semester.
"It was the first time for him to have the chance to be a college student," he said. "It's not in the barracks, there's no uniform, no drills, so you can grow you hair out, get a beard."
Matthew arrived in Cairo with seven other cadets.
"We last heard from him six o' clock January 25. He was in an Egyptian bazaar haggling, having a good time, seeing what was going on," McGoffin said. "He called us to tell us we needed to come. It was later that day that I learned things were starting to mask with the protests and that sort of thing ."
The same evening, Matthew posted a message on his father's Facebook page saying he was safe. All of the cadets were taken to a U.S. embassy-- just outside of Cairo.
"We have had some communication with Matthew by Facebook and through emails since and they were able to get out despite the curfew," McGoffin said.
Embassy officials arranged for Matthew and the other cadets to be flown out of Egypt. McGoffin says he hasn't been worried because he knew his son was in good hands.
"For what he wants to do growing up and the career he wants to pursue to be there right now to get to witness this first hand and to talk to people on the ground, what a fabulous experience for him," he said.
The cadets are in Morocco tonight. They will complete their semester studying abroad at a university there.