Army-Navy Couple Baptized in Alaska

August 19, 2014 • United States
1461US-K  Mike and Allison Hodge

A Tennessee husband and wife rededicated their lives and marriage to Christ during Week 11 of the Operation Heal Our Patriots summer season.

Neither Mike Hodge nor his wife Allison Masters had served in the military when they were married in May 2001. They never could have imagined that within 11 years their journey would find them both to be declared 100 percent disabled through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Help Bring Healing to Wounded PatriotsAllison went to Navy basic training about 5 months after marrying Mike. She seriously injured her back during a training exercise in 2002 and was medical boarded out of the military in 2004.

Mike joined the Army in 2003 and served combat tours in Afghanistan in 2004 and Iraq in 2007. During his first tour he broke both ankles during a mission and was medevacted home to the United States. He spent the next 18 months going through surgeries, casts, and crutches. Later, in Iraq, he injured his knees and neck. In 2012, he was medically retired.

Though they could not have envisioned some of these low points years ago, neither could they have foreseen certain high points, such as rededicating their lives to Christ and getting baptized last week through Operation Heal Our Patriots.

Chaplain Dan Stephens and his wife, Linda, presented a Bible to Mike Hodge and his wife Allison.

Chaplain Dan Stephens and his wife, Linda, presented a Bible to Mike Hodge and his wife Allison.

Operation Heal Our Patriots is the Samaritan’s Purse ministry that serves wounded military personnel and their spouses by offering marriage enrichment, physical refreshment, and the encouragement that comes only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. During a weeklong experience at Samaritan Lodge in Port Alsworth, Alaska, couples enjoy a variety of activities designed to strengthen their relationship with God and each other.

When Mike and Allison arrived in Port Alsworth from Tennessee, they were not in a strong place spiritually, but the grandeur of God’s creation and time spent studying the Bible with Chaplain Dan Stephens drew them back to Christ.

“Both of us had a lot of doubts, and God spoke to us while we were there,” Allison said. “It just opened our eyes.”

“We can’t thank Samaritan’s Purse enough for the time and energy they put into us while we were up there.”

Samaritan Lodge welcomed Lieutenant General R. L. VanAntwerp and his wife, Paula, last week. He retired from the Army after 39 years of service and a final assignment as Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They presented a Bible during the fireside farewell to retired Army Corporal Joe Santoscoy and his wife, Ingrid Mejia, of Bridgeview, Illinois. Joe was injured while serving as a combat medic attached to a combat engineer battalion.

Samaritan Lodge welcomed Lieutenant General R. L. VanAntwerp and his wife, Paula, last week. He retired from the Army after 39 years of service and a final assignment as Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They presented a Bible during the fireside farewell to retired Army Corporal Joe Santoscoy and his wife, Ingrid Mejia, of Bridgeview, Illinois. Joe was injured while serving as a combat medic attached to a combat engineer battalion.

Ingrid Mejia and Allison Masters celebrated their baptisms flanked by General VanAntwerp and Chaplain Dave Mikkelson. Ingrid’s husband, Joe Santoscoy, was also baptized after receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Ingrid Mejia and Allison Masters celebrated their baptisms flanked by General VanAntwerp and Chaplain Dave Mikkelson. Ingrid’s husband, Joe Santoscoy, was also baptized after receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Retired Army Sergeant First Class Jason Moore and his wife, Yvette, renewed their marriage vows. Jason was injured by an indirect fire mortar attack in Afghanistan. The Moores live in Clarksville, Tennessee, the same city as Mike and Allison, and the two couples hope to stay in close contact.

Retired Army Sergeant First Class Jason Moore and his wife, Yvette, renewed their marriage vows. Jason was injured by an indirect fire mortar attack in Afghanistan. The Moores live in Clarksville, Tennessee, the same city as Mike and Allison, and the two couples hope to stay in close contact.

Retired Army Specialist Michael Ryan and his wife, CareyLyn, from Georgetown, Texas, also renewed their marriage vows in Alaska. Michael was wounded while serving in Iraq.

Retired Army Specialist Michael Ryan and his wife, CareyLyn, from Georgetown, Texas, also renewed their marriage vows in Alaska. Michael was wounded while serving in Iraq.

SUPPORT
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.
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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