The Lifelong Impact of Operation Heal Our Patriots

– Are you or your spouse a service member from a U.S. military branch who has been injured or wounded in active duty after September 11, 2001? Apply to participate in Operation Heal Our Patriots.

– Discover more about how Operation Heal Our Patriots is working to strengthen the relationships and faith of our wounded veterans here.

– Be encouraged by the latest updates from Alaska.

Show Notes

In honor of the Fourth of July, Kristy Graham is taking you on the ground to hear from wounded veterans and their spouses that recently participated in Operation Heal Our Patriots, commonly referred to in the ministry as “OHOP.” Each summer, Samaritan’s Purse offers this marriage retreat to give couples the opportunity for spiritual refreshment, physical renewal, and marriage enrichment. This Alaskan mountaintop experience allows these men and women to truly be refreshed through God’s word and like-minded community, but the real work happens when they return back home.

The podcast opens with Kristy’s conversation with Greg Duvall, the educational and discipleship manager for Operation Heal Our Patriots. He explains the transformations he has witnessed through the beautiful Alaskan retreat. With no distractions, couples can focus on one another and receive tools to bolster their marriage. However, couples often get hit with life’s demands once they come home from Alaska. The Samaritan’s Purse aftercare program was designed to be the bridge between the lessons learned at the retreat and the reality of hardships in daily life.

“A big priority on our end is to remind them that the same God that worked in their lives, hearts, and marriages in Alaska is the same God who’s going to carry them through all the struggles and issues they’re walking through today. It’s the same power that brought healing to their marriage in Alaska that’s going to continue that healing work in their marriage back at home.” —Greg Duvall

Greg breaks down the purpose and planning for the aftercare program. OHOP hosts multiple regional gatherings each year—allowing alumni and their families to continue growing with their community. In mid-May, Kristy connected with two of those OHOP couples over the phone. Both couples attended the retreat in 2018, and experienced God’s transforming power in their marriages. First, Kristy introduces you to John and Christina Ricketts.

John was injured in 2010 serving in Afghanistan as a scout. After his vehicle was hit with 300 pounds of homemade bombs, John left the service with two crushed feet and a major brain injury. Shortly after both legs were amputated below the knee, he met Christina. It wasn’t until after they got married that they realized they couldn’t handle their circumstances alone. When they attended Operation Heal Our Patriots, they were given the tools they needed for their marriage.

“Operation Heal Our Patriots chaplains have been on our 911 speed dial a few times. These people are for our marriage. They’re for our growth, our faith, and our healing. I’m so thankful for them.” —Christina Ricketts

Kristy also spoke with Rich and Ruthe Reid, who have been married over 25 years. When Rich left his military career of 17 years, he had a traumatic brain injury, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and was filled with rage. Their marriage was on the breaking point when they decided to apply for Operation Heal Our Patriots. They both agree the week in Alaska truly changed the trajectory of their relationship. Now, their marriage is stronger than it’s ever been before, and they’re serving in their local church while getting plugged-in to the surrounding community.

“I love Samaritan’s Purse because in every ministry they do, they want people to get plugged into the local church. Whether it’s Operation Christmas Child, U.S. Disaster Relief, or Operation Heal Our Patriots, we want to equip and stick with you. But, there is nothing like your local church.” —Kristy Graham

The episode wraps with specific prayer requests for the Operation Heal Our Patriots program and alumni. Please continue to pray for the marriage of these men and women that sacrificed for our freedom.

Tune in to "The Lifelong Impact of Operation Heal Our Patriots," to hear how Samaritan's Purse is providing encouragement to alumni long after they leave Alaska.
Tune in to “The Lifelong Impact of Operation Heal Our Patriots,” to hear how Samaritan’s Purse is providing encouragement to alumni long after they leave Alaska.

10 Replies to “The Lifelong Impact of Operation Heal Our Patriots”

  1. I’ve had a heart for this program from the first time I heard about it. I believe every benefit should be offered to those who serve our great country. I applied to be a cook last year, but wasn’t chosen, but I can always pray for the couples’ marriages to be restored, made stronger, and for some to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, as well as to help support it financially.
    God bless to all involved.

  2. Thank you for your service. Glad you got to go to OHOP and found out how much God loves you. Hebrews 13: 5 – 6. Know that I will be in prayer for you.

  3. I will listen to this podcast soon. And the others too. I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am for Samaritan’s Purse. You have found so many creative ways to share God’s love and His gospel. I will be praying for you faithfully. Libby Morris


  4. Incredible stories of hope and healing! Having been acquainted with BGEA for nearly 40 years, it makes my heart leap for joy to hear how, through OHOP, God continues to heal, move and be glorified I our brokenness! He truly is strong where we are weak! God bless all the Chaplains and Staff who minister to these marriages and may they continue to allow Him to work through their lives!

  5. I love this ministry! My own nursing career that I loved was abruptly ended with an on the job injury, so I have a tiny understanding of that aspect of the incredible trauma so many people suffer when injured in the military. My new job is prayer warrior; my daily prayers include Samaritan’s Purse ministries and all involved. God is on the move, expect miracles!!

  6. God bless you for your efforts to reach so many people with the Gospel. I pray regularly for Samaritan Purse Ministry.

  7. I love this program of SP. I pray each day for the couples who are waiting and those who are there and after that the Lord will bless them with renewed hope in Him. This is such an important ministry. I thank God that it is there.
    My website was launched this year.( It is meant to draw people to God by showing how nature reflects His character and purpose in their lives. If there is anyway that it can minister to these couples, or other vets and their families, I would love for you to share the inspiration with them. The Alaskan wilderness inspires awe of His handiwork. When you can’t get outside or to Alaska, the walks I take here in the Piedmont, and the mountains should refresh and minister.

  8. It gives me great joy to hear of the work you are doing for our veterans. You are truly putting feet to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Thank you Franklin, Will and Kristy and all the others for giving of yourselves to love others and our precious Lord Jesus. Bless you
    for blessing others and diligently serving God.

  9. OHOP saved not only my/our marriage… OHOP helped bring me to God ( “Padre Dan”) which in turn SAVED my eternal soul !

    I WILL forever support our Lord & Savior. I WILL support and defend OHOP and what they stand for, for as long as Jesus allows me to walk this earth -Amen

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