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Wounded Warriors Find Path to Healing in Alaska

After a decade of non-stop fighting abroad, a new program is bringing wounded warriors and their families to Alaska for healing of their bodies, minds, and marriages. Read Transcript


Reporter: OUR JOURNEY

BEGINS IN A PLANE, THE MAIN

SOURCE OF TRANSPORTATION TO

PORT ALSOWORTH, A REMOTE

ALASKA VILLAGE LOCATED ABOUT

150 MILES SOUTHWEST OF

ANCHORIDGE.

WOUNDED WARRIORS AND THEIR

SPOUSES FOLLOW THIS BREEK

BREATHTAKING PATH IN THEIR

SEARCH FOR HEALING OF THEIR

BODIES, MINDS, AND

MARRIAGES.

LANDING ON THIS DIRT RUN WAY

BEGINS A WEEK UNLIKE ANY

OTHER.

AS THEY EXIT, THEY RECEIVE A

HERO'S WELCOME FROM PORT

ALSWORTH RESIDENCE, AND THE

STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS OF

SAMARITAN LODGE, ALASKA.

THEY COME OFF THE PLANE

CRYING BECAUSE THEY DID NOT

GET THAT KIND OF WELCOME

WHEN THEY CAME HOME

WOUNDED.

BECAUSE THEY CAME HOME BY

THEMSELVES.

THERE WAS NO BIG PARADE OR

ANYTHING.

MOST OF THEM WILL SAY, I

CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DID THAT

FOR ME.

THEY JUST FEEL SO LOVED.

Reporter: THE COZY

RETREAT CENTER A AN OASIS

FOR VETERANS AND SPOUSES

PARCHED BY WAR.

THE HUMANITARIAN

ORGANIZATION SAMARITAN'S

PURSE RUNS THE PROGRAM,

KNOWN AS "OPERATION HEAL OUR

PATRIOTS."

WE WANT THESE COUPLES TO

EXPERIENCE HEALING, GOD'S

HEALING IN THEIR LIVES.

I'M NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT

THE PHYSICAL HEALING, THAT'S

IMPORTANT, BUT I'M TALKING

ABOUT THE PHYSICAL AND

EMOTIONAL HEALING, AND THE

HEALING OF THEIR MARRIAGES.

SO MANY OF THESE COUPLES,

BECAUSE OF THE EXPERIENCES

THEY'VE GONE THROUGH ARE

FINDING THEMSELVES GOING IN

DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS.

Reporter: ACCORDING TO

THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT,

DIVORCE ENDED ABOUT 30,000

MILITARY MARRIAGES IN 2011.

PART OF THE HEALING PROCESS

HERE MEANS SIMPLY GETTING

THEIR MINDS OFF WOUNDS AND

DAY TO DAY STRESS BY

EXPERIENCING LIFE ALASKA

STYLE.

THAT INCLUDES BEARS,

FLY-FISHING, KAYAKING, AND

OF COURSE, R & R.

IT IS FUN TO SEE THE

EXCITEMENT ON THEIR FACE

WHEN THEY WALK IN THE

CABIN.

Reporter: SANDY LANE

AND HER HUSBAND, MARK,

MANAGE THE MARRIAGE RETREAT

CENTER.

IT IS A BLESSING TO BE

HERE.

FIRST OF ALL, TO BE PART OF

AN ORGANIZATION, A MISSION,

THAT TENDS TO THESE COUPLES,

THESE WOUNDED COUPLES.

AND NOT ONLY IS THE SPOUSE

WOUNDED, BUT THE PERSON THAT

SERVED IN THESE ARMED

FORCES, BUT THE OTHER SPOUSE

IS ALSO WOUNDED IN SO MANY

WAYS.

Reporter: OVER A THREE

AND A HALF MONTH PERIOD, 150

COUPLES FROM ALL OVER THE

COUNTRY ARRIVE HERE AT

SAMARITAN LODGE, ALASKA.

SOME OF THE WOUNDED WARRIORS

HAVE INJURIES WHICH ARE

VISIBLE.

OTHERS HAVE WOUNDS CAN ARE

NOT SEEN.

THIS IS THE LATEST AND

GREATEST MILITARY-ISSUED X3,

MADE BY AUTO BACH OUT OF

GERMANY.

Reporter: WHILE SERVING

IN AFGHANISTAN, AN I.E.D.

TOOK OFF BILLY'S RIGHT LEG

AT THE KNEE.

I REMEMBER THE WHOLE

THING.

I REMEMBER FLYING THROUGH

THE AIR, WORRYING ABOUT HOW

I WAS GOING TO LAND.

I DIDN'T WANT TO LAND ON MY

HEAD, AND REAL LYING

REALIZING THAT MY FOOT WAS

GONE, AND KNOWING WHEN I HIT

THE GROUND, I NEEDED TO GET

TO WORK TO STOP THE

BLEEDING.

Reporter: JENNIFER,

WHEN YOU LOOK DOWN THERE AT

THE PROSTHETIC LEG, WHAT

GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND?

HE IS A PRETTY AMAZING

GUY TO COME THROUGH ALL THAT

HE HAS COME THROUGH.

IT SEEMS NATURAL NOW.

IT IS JUST PART OF HIM.

Reporter: STILL,

INJURIES LIKE THIS, AND

THEIR NEW CHALLENGES, TAKE A

TOLL ON A MARRIAGE.

AFTER THEIR TIME AT

SAMARITAN LODGE, ALASKA,

HOWEVER, BILLY AND JENNIFER

RENEWED THEIR VOWS, ONE OF

THREE COUPLES TO DO SO

DURING OUR TIME HERE.

IT WAS PERFECT FOR US.

WE REALLY NEEDED THE TIME

FOR US TO RECONNECT, EWAY

FROM EVERYTHING, ESPECIALLY

JUST UNPLUGGING FROM THE

REST OF THE WORLD.

JUST BEING ABLE TO FOCUS ON

WHAT WE'RE DOING, AND WHAT'S

RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF US.

AND THAT HAS BEEN EXTREMELY

HELPFUL FOR US.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO

RECHARGE EVERY ONCE IN A

WHILE AND TAKE TIME FOR EACH

OTHER.

Reporter: HERNANDEZ AND

MARTI ALSO FEEL RECHARGED.

HERNANDEZ SUFFERED A BRAIN

INJURY IN IRAQ AND BATTLES

POST-TRAMATIC STRESS

DISORDER.

THE MARRIAGE ENRICHMENT

CLASSES WERE RIGHT ON POINT,

HITTING THE BIGGER ELEMENTS

OF LOVE AND SUPPORT.

I WOULD SAY THAT ALL

SERVICE MEMBERS NEED TO SEEK

GOD.

FIRST AND FOREMOST.

AND ADDRESS THE ISSUES THAT

ARE GOING ON.

Reporter: 15 DAYS AFTER

DAN STEVENS RETIRED AS A

NAVY CHAPLAIN, HE TOOK ON

THE SAME ROLE AT SAMARITAN

LODGE, ALASKA.

HE HAS WITNESSED DOZENS OF

LIVES CHANGED, THINKS TO

SALVATION THROUGH JESUS

CHRIST.

MY MISSION HERE IS TO

HELP PEOPLE COME TO KNOW THE

LORD JESUS CHRIST.

THAT HAS BEEN MY MISSION IN

THE MILITARY.

IT IS TO HELP PEOPLE WHERE

THEY ARE.

I NOW BAPTIZE YOU IN THE

NAME OF THE FATHER, THE SON,

AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.

[APPLAUSE]

[CHEERING]

Reporter: AND SO BROKEN

MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE GIVEN

SO MUCH ARRIVE IN ALASKA NOT

KNOWING WHAT TO EXPECT, AND

LEAVE HERE TRANSFORMED BY

THE HEALING POWER OF GOD.

MARK MARTIN, CBN NEWS, PORT

ALSWORTH, ALASKA.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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