In honor of Veterans Day, several articles have been coming out about specific "give back" deals that organizations have planned. Many restaurants and retailers are giving discounts to those who have fearlessly served our country.
Something that does not get as much press attention, however, is a ministry opportunity that occurs multiple times a year, specifically designed to help wounded veterans. Franklin Graham created "Operation Heal Our Patriots" as a branch of Samaritan's Purse.
The organization calls itself "A Place of Healing for America's Heroes," and focuses on "spiritual refreshment, physical renewal, and marriage enrichment." Every year, hundreds of veterans and their spouses visit Samaritan Lodge Alaska, where they participate in a week of relaxation and relationship building.
"Operation Heal Our Patriots" was founded in response to the 48,000 U.S. service members who have been wounded or injured as a result of combat actions since 9/11. For many of these veterans, the negative effects of the injuries last long after the physical healing takes place.
The organization allows hundreds of veterans and spouses go to Alaska each summer for an all-expense paid week. For those with children, the organization partners with other nonprofits that provide financial assistance for childcare during the week-long absence as well.
According to the organization's website, the retreat center has over 25 buildings and cabins and is surrounded by mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife. The couples participate in marriage workshops for part of the time and are given the opportunity to enjoy multiple outdoor activities during free times.
After the week of restoration, the organization focuses on aftercare as well. The couples are given area specific chaplain referrals, local church follow-up, and resources for ongoing spiritual growth.
We are thankful for Franklin Graham for recognizing this gap in ministry and taking action to bring hope to these deserving people. If you know someone who qualifies for this retreat or if you would like to donate to the cause, more information can be found on the website.
What do you think about this? If you love this ministry, share it on Facebook so that more people can learn about it! In other recent news, the massacred Texas church received good news after pastor's big announcement.