Operation Heal our Patriots
Operation Heal Our Patriots® gives wounded veterans and their spouses the opportunity for spiritual refreshment, physical renewal, and marriage enrichment. Couples participate in Biblically-based seminars that help strengthen their relationships with God and others and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation with outdoor activities at our Alaskan wilderness lodge. We continue to support these men and women after their initial stay, keeping their spiritual needs and marriages a priority.
The application stage for this year's Operation Heal Our Patriots is now closed. Please consider applying for next year's Operation Heal Our Patriots to Alaska.
A Place of Healing for OUR Heroes
According to the National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, over 2,000 Canadian service members have been wounded or injured as a result of combat actions in Afghanistan alone since the beginning of the mission in April 2002. For these patriots, the road to recovery is long. Military couples in particular encounter intense challenges along the way.
Operation Heal Our Patriots, a ministry project of Samaritan’s Purse, focuses on bringing spiritual refreshment, physical renewal, and marriage enrichment to wounded and injured U.S. and Canadian military service members and their spouses. To thank these brave men and women for their service and sacrifice, we offer programs uniquely developed to strengthen the marriage relationship and build hope for the future through the transforming power of God’s Word. This program is open to military service personnel who have served since 9/11/2001.
Read A Message of Love: Operation Heal Our Patriots participants experience the love of Jesus through Samaritan's Purse
"Our week in Alaska really opened up our eyes to see God is still there. It was us that backed up, not Him." -- Army Sergeant Ken and Jessica Lind
Ten couples attended the first-ever Canada Week of Operation Heal Our Patriots.
Thanks to the financial and prayer support of Canadian donors, one week in summer 2015 was set aside specifically to serve 10 wounded veterans from Canada and their spouses. It was a first for Operation Heal Our Patriots.
Cozy cabins named after Alaskan wildlife provide a relaxing space for couples to unwind.
Operation Heal Our Patriots’ retreat center, Samaritan Lodge Alaska, sits on five acres of pristine lakefront property on the protected shores of Hardenburg Bay, in the southwestern portion of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. One of the deepest lakes in Alaska, Lake Clark spans 42 miles, surrounded by the glories of the Alaskan wild.
A Wilderness Retreat for Military Couples
Samaritan Lodge Alaska stands peacefully within the great wilderness of America’s last frontier. It is here, among mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife that we minister to the needs of our own victims of war. Military service members and their spouses have the opportunity to stay for one week, including travel time.
Each day, our on-site staff chaplain leads devotions and our Marriage Resiliency Workshop. This weeklong course offers couples time away from daily pressures and distractions to study the primary dynamics that have the greatest impact on a marriage. The workshop concludes with a worship service, which affirms and celebrates couples’ relationship with God and one another, amid the marvels of His creation.
"Operation Heal Our Patriots changed our lives and our way of thinking." -- Marine Staff Sergeants Walt and Rosie Townsend
Master Corporal Chris Harding and his wife Lisa of Morinville, Alberta, participated in Operation Heal Our Patriots in September 2015. Their week at Samaritan Lodge in Alaska culminated in a step of faith, which included baptism. Click here to read Chris and Lisa's story
What to Expect
The wilderness retreat center has more than 25 buildings, including cabins, a fitness facility, and a full-service community dining hall and lunch café. Meals are prepared each day by our on-site chef.
Wide porches overlooking Lake Clark invite relaxation, while evening fires provide a welcoming venue for conversation and laughter. Each day, our staff chaplain leads devotions and marriage enrichment courses.
The cabins are connected to the other buildings at the facility by boardwalks, making them handicap accessible.
Couples stay in their own personal cabin, with amenities that include a queen-size bed, full bath with provided toiletries, hot and cold running water, heat, and daily housekeeping service. All cabins and main buildings are within short walking distance of each other, and interconnected boardwalks ensure that all lodge facilities are fully accessible.
Guests enjoy a wide range of activities such as fishing, kayaking, hiking, bear watching, and boating. Our specialized 34-foot boat is outfitted with a folding bow that transitions into a ramp to the shore, providing easy access. Specific activities are tailored for each group of visitors. The wilderness retreat center is open from June through mid September. Guests will stay for one week, including travel time.
Travel to Port Alsworth
All travel to and from Samaritan Lodge Alaska is planned, provided, and paid for by Samaritan’s Purse.
Commercial flights will be booked for Sundays from the most convenient airport to Anchorage. Here guests will transfer to a private plane for travel on to Port Alsworth. Lodge staff greets guests at the airport, drives them the short distance to the wilderness retreat center, and drops them off at the front door of their personal cabin.
Army Staff Sergeant Doug Cox was wounded in Afghanistan in December 2010 when a mortar landed on his right side. He’s been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and suffers from related cognitive and balance issues. His wife, Amiee, has prayed for him for years to receive Christ. After listening to a chaplain-led morning devotion on Psalm 23, Doug decided to receive Jesus as his Lord, Savior, and Good Shepherd. After being baptized in the frigid waters of Lake Clark, Doug proclaimed for all to hear, “I was lost in the icy darkness of sin, but I’ve been raised into the warmth and light of Jesus Christ’s love.”
What military couples learn and experience through Operation Heal Our Patriots gives them a solid biblical foundation upon which to build a Christ-centered marriage. Helping them live it out at home is what leads to their long-term healing. That is why our ministry includes aftercare services that include:
- Area military chaplain referrals
- Local church follow-up
- Additional resources for spiritual growth
Curious about what a typical day is like for the military couples of Operation Heal Our Patriots wilderness and marriage retreat? Below is a sample schedule of what your day may be like for you and your spouse during your stay at the Samaritan Lodge.
0700 - Breakfast
0745 - Devotions
0830 - Wilderness Skills Workshop (Fly Fishing, Kayaking, etc.)
0930 - Fishing/Bear Watching/Waterfalls Hike or Camp Activity
1200 - Lunch
1300 - Fishing/Bear Watching/Waterfall Hike/Camp Activity
1600 - Return to the Lodge
1800 - Dinner
1930 - Marriage Resiliency Seminar
2100 - Fire Pit or Free Time
2300 - Lights Out
Ways you can help
Prayer is the most important gift you can give. Please keep these specific requests in your prayers:
Ask God to protect our military personnel serving overseas.
Pray for those service members who have been injured or wounded.
Pray for the ministry of Operation Heal Our Patriots.
You can help bring a military couple to Samaritan Lodge Alaska for a life-changing retreat they desperately need and provide ongoing follow-up care for years to come. Your gift helps provide these husbands and wives the spiritual refreshment, physical renewal, and marriage enrichment they critically need. Donate Here