Apply for Operation Heal Our Patriots 2018 Summer Season

February 1, 2018 • United States
Military couples came away refreshed after a week at Samaritan Lodge Alaska through Operation Heal Our Patriots. Some couples, including Marine Corporal Chad and Lindsey Hiser, publicly renewed their marriage vows.
Military couples come away refreshed after a week at Samaritan Lodge Alaska through Operation Heal Our Patriots. Some couples, including Marine Corporal Chad and Lindsey Hiser, publicly renew their marriage vows.

All married U.S. military personnel, current and former, who have been wounded in combat or combat-related activities since 9/11 are invited to apply for Operation Heal Our Patriots.

Marine Sergeant Edwin Bono was paralyzed from the waist down following an ambush in Iraq, and his wife Elizabeth became his full-time caregiver. They were in their early 20s.

Last year, more than a decade after Edwin was wounded, the couple attended a week of Biblically based marriage enrichment in Alaska through Operation Heal Our Patriots, and they found a connection with God and each other that they had never experienced.

Now, the Bonos are living with greater hope for their lives and their marriage as they trust Christ day by day.

“It was incredible,” Elizabeth said, describing their week at Samaritan Lodge Alaska. “It was more than anything either one of us could have imagined. I felt I was in a safe place to talk about the struggles he and I had dealt with, without being judged, and he was able to open up to people about things he had never been open about.”


The experience there gave them some much-needed time away from their everyday lives and from the stresses of medical complications. And it provided an opportunity to talk about their marriage, family, and relationship with God in a unique environment.

“I haven’t been a religious person. I never really prayed,” Edwin said. “Going to Alaska opened me up to God.”

Edwin, who received Jesus Christ as His Savior and Lord in Alaska, described the experience as “life-changing,” and the Bonos received Biblical tools for strengthening their marriage. They learned that they could rely on God more every day and that their marriage could grow stronger, even in the face of adversity.

We are now taking applications from U.S. military personnel for the 2018 Operation Heal Our Patriots summer season in Alaska. Each week for 15 weeks during the summer, wounded veterans and their spouses will participate in marriage enrichment courses led by retired military chaplains and also take once-in-a-lifetime excursions into the Alaska wilderness.

Since its inaugural season in 2012, Operation Heal Our Patriots has served more than 800 military couples. Three hundred and forty individuals have made commitments to Jesus Christ, over 425 have been baptized, and more than 400 couples have rededicated their marriages before God. Through the power of the Gospel, this ministry of Samaritan’s Purse is strengthening military marriages over the long term.

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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Suggested Gift: $60