Alaska Restart

July 31, 2018 • United States

An Army couple discovers new tools and a fresh start for their marriage, their family, and their lives during a week at Samaritan Lodge Alaska.

In 2011, Army Specialist Shelby Nelms was in a convoy that was rocked by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Her vehicle took a direct hit from the blast. Army Specialist Nick Nelms was also in the convoy and rushed to aid his fellow soldiers.

“I said ‘What’s up, girl? I’m here to rescue you,’” Nick said, recounting how he entered Shelby’s vehicle through the roof’s gun turret.

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Later that year the two married and since then have had to work through many of the challenges created by military life and Shelby’s traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other wounds. They also both suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Shelby said when they arrived in Alaska they really needed a “refreshing restart to their lives.”

At Samaritan Lodge, the Nelmses found the time they needed to reconnect with each other and also invested in getting to know other military couples with similar experiences. While there, the couple also recommitted themselves and their marriage to God and were baptized in Lake Clark.

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Bless the Marriage of a Military Couple Operation Heal Our Patriots helps military couples build a strong spiritual foundation during a week of Biblically based workshops, relationship-building wilderness activities, and individual care by our retired military chaplains. We offer all this free of charge to these American heroes as a token of our appreciation for their service and sacrifice. Your gift will help us cover the costs—including transportation, lodging, activities, and long-term aftercare—so that we can help them find hope in the Lord.

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