Greta Van Susteren Visits Patriots in Alaska
August 17, 2013 • United States
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Greta Van Susteren, host of “On the Record” on the Fox News Channel, visits the Operation Heal Our Patriots wilderness retreat

Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham welcomed Greta Van Susteren, host of “On the Record” on the Fox News Channel, and her husband, John Coale, this weekend to the Operation Heal Our Patriots wilderness retreat in Port Alsworth, Alaska. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, arrived on Sunday to welcome a new group of veterans as well.

Accompanying the Palins were two famous racers: Parnelli Jones, who drove to victory in the 1963 Indianapolis 500, and Walker “the Legend” Evans, an Off-road Motorsports Hall of Famer. Standing with Operation Heal Our Patriots staff and many residents of Port Alsworth, they greeted incoming veterans and their spouses with smiles, cheers, and American flags.

“Throughout the summer, many special guests and speakers join us to encourage these heroes and their spouses” Graham said. “We are grateful for everyone who has come to share in this ministry.”

Operation Heal Our Patriots is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse to military couples with a spouse wounded or injured in combat or combat-related activities after 9/11.

On Friday, Van Susteren and Coale, joined by Graham, enjoyed fishing with veterans off the Jay Hammond, our fully accessible fishing and recreation boat named after the former governor of Alaska. They also celebrated with three military couples who rededicated their marriages before God and the gathered community.

Operation Heal Our Patriots participant and Army veteran Jeremy Barnhart, an accomplished opera singer who committed his life to Christ earlier last week, sang “Amazing Grace” at the ceremony. Barnhart was wounded in a double bomb blast in Baghdad during a deployment to Iraq.

This week marks the 12th of 15 scheduled weeks in Alaska for Operation Heal Our Patriots. The program offers husbands and wives an amazing Sunday-to-Friday experience in a pristine setting alongside other couples facing similar challenges.

Through a variety of outdoor adventures, biblically-based marriage resiliency classes, and daily devotions led by retired military chaplains, couples can make cherished memories together and experience God’s healing love in a unique environment.

Greta Van Susteren, whose program “On The Record” is the top-rated show on cable news in its time slot, is an accomplished attorney, journalist, and photojournalist. For more stories and images from her trip to Samaritan Lodge Alaska, visit her blog, GretaWire.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, greet Corporal Chris Boreland, USMC (Ret.). Chris was injured in Iraq in 2006.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, greet Corporal Chris Boreland, USMC (Ret.). Chris was injured in Iraq in 2006.

Sergeant Tim Bennington, US Army, meets motorsports legends Walker Evans & Parnelli Jones. Tim was injured in Afghanistan in 2011.

Sergeant Tim Bennington, US Army, meets motorsports legends Walker Evans & Parnelli Jones. Tim was injured in Afghanistan in 2011.

Staff Sergeant Eric Myers, US Army, was injured in Iraq in 2012. He is attending Operation Heal Our Patriots with his wife, Laura.

Staff Sergeant Eric Myers, US Army, was injured in Iraq in 2012. He is attending Operation Heal Our Patriots with his wife, Laura.

Franklin Graham talks with Army Staff Sergeant Daniel Williams and his wife, Andrea.

Franklin Graham talks with Army Staff Sergeant Daniel Williams and his wife, Andrea.

Greta Van Susteren speaks with Gunnery Sergeant Fergal Cagney, USMC, and his wife, Carrie, overlooking the waters of Lake Clark.

Greta Van Susteren speaks with Gunnery Sergeant Fergal Cagney, USMC, and his wife, Carrie, overlooking the waters of Lake Clark.

Franklin Graham asks God's blessings as the latest group of patriots and their spouses begin their time together at our wilderness retreat.

Franklin Graham asks God’s blessings as the latest group of patriots and their spouses begin their time together at our wilderness retreat.

Greta Van Susteren addresses the wounded heroes and their spouses during their first meal together in Alaska.

Greta Van Susteren addresses the wounded heroes and their spouses during their first meal together in Alaska.

Todd Palin welcomes the group to his home state. Todd is a true Alaskan—a commercial fisherman, a pilot, and an extraordinary athlete who is a four-time champion of the Iron Dog, the world’s longest snowmobile race. The Iron Dog is a grueling endurance test that covers 2,031 miles through rugged wilderness in extreme temperatures. In 2008, Todd broke his arm when he was thrown 70 feet from his machine. He was sent to the hospital, but still managed to rejoin the race and finished fourth.

Todd Palin welcomes the group to his home state. Todd is a true Alaskan—a commercial fisherman, a pilot, and an extraordinary athlete who is a four-time champion of the Iron Dog, the world’s longest snowmobile race. The Iron Dog is a grueling endurance test that covers 2,031 miles through rugged wilderness in extreme temperatures. In 2008, Todd broke his arm when he was thrown 70 feet from his machine. He was sent to the hospital, but still managed to rejoin the race and finished fourth.

Greta Van Susteren showed her servant's heart by getting up at 6:30 a.m. to cook pancakes for our volunteers and staff—we called them “Greta-cakes.”  Such a good sport, she wanted to show her appreciation for those who work behind the scenes at Samaritan Lodge Alaska.

Greta Van Susteren showed her servant’s heart by getting up at 6:30 a.m. to cook pancakes for our volunteers and staff—we called them “Greta-cakes.” Such a good sport, she wanted to show her appreciation for those who work behind the scenes at Samaritan Lodge Alaska.

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