Operation Heal Our Patriots

What

Operation Heal Our Patriots is a project of Samaritan’s Purse designed to strengthen the marriages of wounded and injured members of the U.S. military. The project includes a weeklong wilderness retreat at Samaritan Lodge Alaska, which provides physical and spiritual renewal to wounded veterans, active-duty service members and their spouses.

With picturesque scenery, individual cabins for couples and a dedicated staff, couples are allowed to escape the pressures of home and focus on renewing their marriages. During the week, they participate in Biblically-based marriage enrichment classes, devotions and recreation activities ranging from bear watching to fishing, kayaking and hiking.

Operation Heal Our Patriots is the only program of its kind for wounded military service members and their spouses. Extending beyond couples’ stay at Samaritan Lodge Alaska, the program provides ongoing aftercare to connect them with a system of support upon their return home. With a minimum of 10 touch points each year, Samaritan’s Purse encourages and equips military couples by providing resources, crisis care and prayer support.

In 2019, Samaritan’s Purse launched Team Patriot—an initiative that provides Operation Heal Our Patriots participants the opportunity to volunteer in hard-hit communities following natural disasters. In 2020, 65 U.S. military veterans and their spouses helped families recover from storms on 11 deployments across the country.

Why

Coping with an injury can be incredibly difficult for military service members, and the stress of this new reality can significantly impact a marriage. Through Operation Heal Our Patriots, Samaritan’s Purse is working to help strengthen and preserve the marriages of those wounded while serving our country.

Who

Operation Heal Our Patriots is open to current and former military service members who were wounded or injured in combat or combat-related activities after Sept. 11, 2001. Each season, couples are flown to Alaska. All expenses, including accommodations, airfare and activities, are covered by Samaritan’s Purse through donations.

Impact

Since 2012, more than 1,220 couples have participated in the program. To date, 504 individuals made commitments to Jesus Christ, 626 individuals were baptized and 599 couples publicly rededicated their marriages to God.

When

Operation Heal Our Patriots opened for its first Alaskan summer season in June 2012. Samaritan Lodge Alaska is open annually from the end of May until mid-September, and guests typically arrive on Sunday and stay through Friday evening.

Where

The retreat center, Samaritan Lodge Alaska, is located in the village of Port Alsworth, Alaska, approximately 150 miles southwest of Anchorage. Adjacent to Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, the lodge is surrounded by mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and wildlife. All lodge facilities and activities are wheelchair accessible.

How To Apply

The application opens each year on Feb. 1. For more information, visit SamaritansPurse.org/Patriots.

Samaritan's Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization working in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. For more information, visit SamaritansPurse.org.

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