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.

World Refugee Day; Supporting Families in Iraq

To honor World Refugee Day on June 20, Kristy Graham is taking you on the ground to the desert of northern Iraq where the Grace Community Center is located. In 2014, Yazidi families fled from ISIS—abandoning their homes in Sinjar to find dwelling in Khanke Camp. The camp, originally a short term solution, is now home to more than 30,000 internally displaced persons living in tents and desperate for hope.

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In the News – Prayers for Racial Reconciliation

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an innocent black man, was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis. In response, protests have broken out across the nation. In this time of grief and uncertainty, Kristy Graham brings God’s Word to the forefront of the conversation.

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We invite you to celebrate Mother’s Day with On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse as Kristy Graham offers ways to honor, remember, and pray for mothers across the globe. In this eye-opening episode, you’ll hear Kristy’s phone call with her sister-in-law, Cissie Graham Lynch, as they discuss Samaritan’s Purse maternal and child health around the world.

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Tornadoes in Monroe, LA

Tune in to the third episode of our four-part series featuring work Samaritan’s Purse U.S. Disaster Relief is doing in Monroe, Louisiana. Over Easter weekend, three tornadoes damaged more than 400 homes, leaving the community in physical and emotional distress. Today, hear as Kristy Graham talks with Shannon Daley, a regional program manager for U.S. Disaster Relief, about how the ministry is helping the community overcome the deadly storm-system’s destruction.

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Tornadoes in Seneca, SC

Thank you for joining us in episode two of our four-part series highlighting the U.S. disaster response teams after a major storm-system swept through Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Today, listen in to the phone call between Kristy Graham and U.S. Disaster Relief program manager Keeth Willingham. Keeth and his team were deployed to the town of Seneca, South Carolina, following the deadly tornadoes that hit over Easter weekend. The paths of these destructive tornadoes were nearly 30 miles long, and killed at least nine people in South Carolina alone.

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Tornadoes in Chattanooga, TN

Welcome to the first episode of a four-part mini-series featuring the work Samaritan’s Purse U.S. Disaster Relief is providing in the Southeast. Over Easter weekend, tornadoes swept through multiple states, leaving families and communities devastated. Kristy talks with staff on the ground about how each individual state was affected: Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana. This is the first time Samaritan’s Purse has responded in four states simultaneously after a disaster.

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Hope in Cremona, Italy

Welcome to another episode of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse. In this informative feature, you’ll hear many voices of doctors, patients, nurses, and staff serving on the ground in Cremona, Italy. Throughout the episode, you’ll hear the theme of hope as our teams continue to give critical care to patients suffering from COVID-19. Listen as Kristy Graham guides you through what a day in the life of a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) looks like at the Emergency Field Hospital in Cremona.

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